About Us

LaunchPAD is Siouxland’s champion of educational play and discovery! Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities and play, children and their caregivers learn about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The regionally-focused exhibits dynamically incorporate elements of agriculture, wind, water, construction, commerce, drama and much more. Kids learn by doing and using their own imagination.

The idea for LaunchPAD Children’s Museum began in 2003 when a small group of local women proposed the idea of a children’s museum to the Junior League of Sioux City. Debbie Bernstein LaCroix, Brandy TenHulzen, Jennifer Uhl, and Lily Higman wanted a community center focused on providing children with the chance to play and discover science, math, and the world around them in a fun way. A dedicated core group persisted in the pursuit of this dream and succeeded in rallying the community and donors.

The Children’s Museum of Siouxland Inc. was incorporated as a 501(c)3 charitable and educational nonprofit in 2007. Exhibit planning began in 2009. Major fundraising began around 2012. Local businesswoman and philanthropist Regina Roth provided a major lead gift, helping inspire 150 other donors to the capital campaign.

Building and exhibit plans were finalized in 2014 and construction began in early 2015. The board of directors re-branded the organization as “LaunchPAD Children’s Museum” in November 2015. “PAD” is an acronym for “play and discover.”

Construction was completed in January 2016 and LaunchPAD opened to the public on February 11, 2016.

LaunchPAD Children’s Museum is a nonprofit organization which is funded by admission fees, membership, and donations from the public. The museum is not affiliated with any level of government and does not receive any public subsidies for ongoing operations. LaunchPAD is a member of the Association of Children’s Museums and the Iowa Museum Association.

LaunchPAD is governed by a volunteer board of directors and has about a dozen full- and part-time staff members.

For more information, call 712-224-2542 or email info@launchpadmuseum.com.