Kids playing at the Secret Ingredient exhibit at Curious Kids Museum

The exhibit will be a long term revenue generator for the museum.

The Curious Kids’ Museum in St. Joseph, Michigan revealed a new exhibit at the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone this week with an intriguing connection to Whirlpool. The exhibit, titled Secret Ingredients: The Inner Workings and Hidden Histories of Your Kitchen, is a traveling exhibit which will be available for children’s museums across the country later this year to rent, generating revenue for Curious Kids’ Museum. The exhibit was funded by and developed in collaboration with the Whirlpool Foundation. It is debuting at the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone where it will remain through the summer.

“Home appliances are an essential part of our homes; they’re tools and machines that even toddlers can name as they begin to build their vocabulary,” said Lori Marciniak, executive director of the Curious Kids’ Museum. “With the generous support of the Whirlpool Foundation, this exhibit reveals the hows and whys of home appliances, connecting visitors with important STEM concepts and cultural lessons in a fun and interactive way.”

The Secret Ingredients exhibit includes the following highly interactive elements:

  • a kid-powered, super-sized replica of a KitchenAid Stand Mixer
  • a game allowing kids to compete in “powering” a washing machine and dishwasher
  • an opportunity for kids to play the role of dirty clothes and go through a classic clothes wringer
  • three play kitchens from prior eras, 1910, 1959 and 1989, to experience the evolution of appliances and food traditions in the last century
  • a kitchen design area encouraging kids to design their dream kitchen
  • an environmental impact space demonstrating the electricity, gas and water usage of appliances from various eras
  • an inventor space highlighting appliance inventors (including local inventor, Lou Upton who invented the electric wringer clothes washer) and their process even giving kids the opportunity to invent their own appliance

“The power and potential of this exhibit is incredible, and it was an easy decision for the Foundation Trustees, knowing it supports a staple of this community by generating revenue for the Curious Kids’ Museum,” said Deb O’Connor, managing director of the Whirlpool Foundation. “It makes learning STEM and history fun and engaging, and it tells a very important story about the growth of our community and households around the country.”

The Secret Ingredient exhibit can be experienced at the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone on Fridays and Saturdays through the spring, from 12pm to 5pm, with additional hours added in the summer. For more information, visit