MANKATO — The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota announced this week it has received the 2014 Campus Compact Presidents' Community Award.

The award recognizes the museum's long-term partnership with Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. The college's Center for Developmental Science has been working with the museum for the past five years. It offers its psychology students an chance to conduct research and observational studies at the museum as part of its developmental psychology coursework. This partnership eventually will result in a "Living Lab" exhibit at the new facility.

The museum is wrapping up its run in its interim site at the corner of Second and Cherry streets in downtown Mankato. When they close that site May 22, they'll put all their efforts into the new site, the former Mankato-owned bus garage.

The new site's estimated opening is in early 2015.

The Living Lab at the Children's Museum's new facility will be "the first in Minnesota and part of a national model to provide students with opportunities to conduct research, as well as educate parents and the public, about child development through the process of scientific discovery," the museum said in a statement.

Campus Compact is a national organization of college and university presidents that promotes civic engagement from the college and university campus.

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