By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 06, 2014 at 1:41 PM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

Discovery World and Rockwell Automation Inc. today launched a three-year project that will include a Rockwell contribution of nearly $2.5 million.

This project will create the next phase of the Rockwell Automation Dream Machine exhibit, dramatically expand Discovery World’s automation education curriculum and provide additional opportunities for visitors to connect with the technology and creativity of a Milwaukee Company.

Opened in 2006, the Dream Machine allows visitors to experience custom-designed projects using Rockwell Automation products and engineering concepts.

The revamped exhibit will further tell the story of innovation through interactive exhibits such as "The Wonder Cabinet," which will combine sensors, actuators and music to showcase automation for audiences of all ages.

The Wonder Cabinet will be introduced in 2015, and other new exhibit features will be added over the three-year project term.

Together, Rockwell Automation and Discovery World will create additional educational programming centered upon engineering and automation, as well as engage STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) partners like FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and Project Lead the Way.

The automation lab will provide an opportunity for students to understand the skills required for the new manufacturing environments of the 21st century.

"We are thrilled to take additional ground-breaking steps in our partnership with Rockwell Automation," said Discovery World President and CEO Joel Brennan. "Rockwell Automation is a global industry leader, but their commitment to STEM education on the local level is unparalleled. They are a shining example of what a strong corporate partner should be and will help us create meaningful additions to our exhibit, educational programming, and the overall experience of Discovery World."