You normally wouldn't let your kids pour molten metal or operate a heavy crane, but the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota is letting kids do all those things, and more!

The 'automation station' exhibit opened today and will run through August.  

The goal is to teach kids about how things are made through the use of robotics and modern manufacturing techniques.  Kids can create molds with kinetic sand, make circuit boards with building blocks, and operate a robotic arm.

Like other exhibits at the museum, this one is hands on, teaching kids through play.

Deb Johnson, senior director of education and exhibits at the museum, said :  "It's really a celebration of the trades and working in partnership with our amazing community members to develop a really authentic play experience in manufacturing."

The exhibit was created with the help of several businesses and institutions , like EI Microcircuits, Jones Metal, Dotson Iron Castings, Big Ideas, Inc. and  the South Central College Mechatronics and Graphics departments.