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Sep 12

Rivian joins Children’s Discovery Museum for Pushcart Derby adventure in 2020

Posted on September 12, 2019 at 10:46 AM by Wendy Long

Normal, IL – Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 – The Children’s Discovery Museum will have a new adventure and innovation partner for its annual Pushcart Derby next summer --- Rivian Automotive. 
In June of 2020, the popular fundraiser and team competition that encourages kids to apply principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) to design and race a vehicle will relocate from Uptown Normal to Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal. It will be the fourth year for the event which has become an in-demand kick off for the museum’s summer camps and education programs. 
“We are excited to host next year’s Pushcart Derby at our site. Children are our future consumers, workforce, and designers,” said Mark Moriarty, Rivian Plant Controller. “We want to inspire them and further ignite the kind of innovation and experimentation that is necessary for the future of transportation.”  

The new partnership will complement the Museum’s existing work with the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST) at Illinois State University which builds the pushcart chassis and helps develop curriculum with Museum staff.   

“There is a lot of potential for growth as Rivian joins the event,” said Beth Whisman, Executive Director of the Children’s Discovery Museum. “We are at capacity in our current location in the Town of Normal Parkinson Lot. We had spoken to CeMaST about the possibility of adding more teams and maybe even new technology options if we could find more room, but space was our main challenge. Moving to the Rivian plant will improve the overall experience for our teams, and we won’t take up valuable weekend parking spots in Uptown Normal.”   

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the Museum’s mission, enabling the expansion of STEAM programs, the creation of new exhibits, the continuation of outreach initiatives and scholarship provision for disadvantaged youth. 

“There is a lot of excitement about what’s happening with Rivian and its impact on the transportation industry,” added Rachel Carpenter, Museum Education Manager. “It is an amazing thing that’s happening in our community. We are excited to share just a small piece of that with our kids. It’s definitely going to be an adventure!” 
The Museum will release more details about the new Pushcart Derby site as plans develop next spring. 
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(VIDEO of the 2018 Pushcart Derby is available here: ) 

About the Children’s Discovery Museum 
The mission of the Children’s Discovery Museum is to inspire the love of learning through the power of play. The vision is to build confidence and foster creativity in today’s youth; enhance critical thinking, communication and collaboration in tomorrow’s workforce; and inspire a more innovative approach for educating future generations. To learn more visit