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Marbles Kids Museum Opens Ready Set Vet Exhibit in Partnership With College of Veterinary Medicine

Marbles Kids Museum is excited to announce the opening of Ready Set Vet, an innovative exhibit presented by the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine.

Ready Set Vet is located on the museum’s first floor within the popular Around Town gallery, where kids lead the way in a bustling mini community. The reimagined vet play experience invites children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to ignite and expand their interest in veterinary medicine. In Ready Set Vet, children will role-play as vets and technicians as they examine and treat injuries, diagnose using X-rays and scans and practice caring for all types of animals. Kids will build self-confidence while discovering the technological aspects of modern veterinary medicine, all through hands-on play in a realistic setting.

A future veterinarian bandages a goat in the new Ready Set Vet exhibit.
Children explore the new interactive x-ray with real images from the NC State Veterinary Hospital.

Through imaginative play as seen above, kids find their passion for animals and develop a commitment to caring for them.

“Marbles is excited to take veterinary play to a new level alongside the experts at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. The Ready Set Vet exhibit at Marbles is bigger, with more imaginative play, new lifelike tools, and enhanced technology. Kids will diagnose, treat and care for all types of animals while building the skills to play an important role in our future workforce,” says Marbles CEO Sally Edwards. 

“We are so honored to be a part of this amazing partnership. We’re grateful for the talented Marbles team who brought this exhibit to life and for our NC State College of Veterinary Medicine team that helped make this play experience as realistic as possible,” says Kate Meurs, dean of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our college is always working to recruit the best and brightest students as we train future innovators in all areas of veterinary medicine and research. We know that the earlier students learn about the field, the more likely they are to pursue it. The Ready Set Vet exhibit gives more children a window into the variety of animals that veterinarians care for and into the different equipment and skills they use to heal and help prevent and cure disease.”

“Kids love animals, and we know that. This is a great example of how Marbles can expand what it means to be a vet for children. It’s not just dogs and cats. It’s other mammals, fish and birds, too,” says Evan Cooper, Marbles’ Learning Experience Developer. “We have provided a collaborative space so kids will have opportunities to work together or be inspired by their peers.”

Children exploring the many species of animals that veterinarians care for.

The college of Veterinary Medicine hopes the exhibit expands not only knowledge about what veterinarians do but also dreams about who can be one, says Dianne Dunning, the association dean of Advancement. The museum serves a diverse population of families, school groups and community organizations and reaches a broad, multigenerational audience.

“With the Ready Set Vet exhibit, we hope to inspire a new generation of veterinary professionals and expose them to the possibilities through play of what a veterinarian can be and do,” Dunning says.

The development ofReady Set Vet began over a year ago after Marbles set its sights on building a partnership with the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, which is nationally ranked in research and training. After a few visits and collaborative conversations, both organizations were motivated to form an extensive partnership through both educational programs and an expanded vet-themed exhibit space. Through the partnership, Marbles’ existing vet play experience was to be completely renovated with the ultimate goal to spark kids’ interest in veterinary medicine.

In summer 2021, members of Team Marbles (with four on the project being NC State alums) visited the college and veterinary hospital for inspiration and research and to explore how their innovative teaching approach could translate through play inside the exhibit. Marbles then hosted Dr. Laura Nelson and Dunning from the university this past January to test the design and play planning with Marbles’ young guests. The test helped determined the activities and content now featured in the space, with the college donating actual tools and animal X-rays to enhance the play experience.

Ready Set Vet is now open for play. Periodic special appearances and programs led by NC State professors, staff and students will continue to enhance kids’ understanding of and interest in the profession. Marbles will be open seven days a week (starting June 13) from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on Thursdays until 7 p.m. Members can enter early at 9 a.m. All visitors are required to purchase tickets in advance online.

About NC State Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine enhances animal and human health and well-being through the education and advanced training of veterinarians and comparative biomedical scientists and provides leadership in veterinary care, biomedical research and outreach through innovation and inter-disciplinary partnerships. The mission contributes to developing and sustaining North Carolina and global economies and advancing the profession. To learn more, visit cvm.ncsu.edu.

About Marbles

Located in downtown Raleigh, Marbles Kids Museum is a community-based nonprofit children’s museum with a mission to spark imagination, discovery and learning through play. Creative, play-based experiences at Marbles contribute to children’s intellectual growth, social and emotional well-being, and healthy development.

Marbles is committed to ensuring its unique award-winning museum experience is available and accessible to every child. Marbles also offers NC’s only certified giant screen IMAX movie experience as well as a robust line-up of enriching programs and events for children, families, students, and adults, united in the power of play to promote positive outcomes and connect our community. To learn more, visit https://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org/