October 22, 2019 | Rebecca Cooper, Washington Business Journal
D.C.-area children will get a glimpse into what makes the perfect Max Scherzer slider, along with "Howie do it" — hit a grand slam, that is — at the soon-to-open National Children’s Museum in downtown D.C.
That’s right, the museum with a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) focus set to open next month will include a physics-oriented baseball exhibit sponsored by the the Washington Nationals’ owners foundation, The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation.
The 10-year partnership between the museum and the Lerners includes a $200,000 gift, which will fund “Pitch Perfect” and “Grand Slam Science,” interactive exhibits that will be branded with the Nationals logo and feature Washington Nationals players. The pitching exhibit will include a green screen and give visitors the ability to feel how stance, grip, aim and speed affect the accuracy of a pitch; the hitting exhibit will teach the mechanics of batting through a simulation.
The exhibits will be part of the Engineering Games and Play exhibit, which gives children the ability to “explore the science, engineering and math skills that power their favorite players and sporting experiences,” according to a statement from the museum.
The museum, which has been closed for nearly five years after shutting down in National Harbor, will open to the public in November. It will be located in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and have access from the plaza above the Federal Triangle Metro station.
The Lerners aren’t the museum’s only baseball connection, as Heather Zimmerman, wife of Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, also serves on its board. The Lerner Foundation’s gift follows another big-name donation to the museum recently: Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) donated $250,000 in August.
“Community is a critical component of our Engineering Games + Play exhibit, where the Museum will celebrate Washington, D.C., through our local sports teams,” Crystal Bowyer, president and CEO of the National Children’s Museum, said in a statement. “We are proud to partner with The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Foundation. They cultivated an amazing team and culture within the Washington Nationals organization and brought the D.C. community together in the most wonderful way.”
The grand opening of the museum is scheduled for later this year. Bowyer set a goal of raising $25 million for the museum's buildout and future operations. To date, the organization has raised $13 million of the $16-million first phase of that campaign.