Kids and parents are excited for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) through the Innovation Lab, the latest expansion at the Building for Kids Children’s Museum.
Thanks to a $35,000 Bright Idea Fund grant from the Community Foundation, the Building for Kids added an Innovation Lab Coordinator, who is responsible for creating weekly interactive STEM challenges, writing curriculum and facilitating weekly and monthly programs.
The lab uses open-ended activities and hands-on learning to teach STEM. Kids are challenged to question how things work. The lab becomes a space focused on experimentation and exploration.
The Innovation Lab gets kids from age “crawler” through 8 enthusiastic about STEM learning.
“Through that excitement, we are battling the misconception that STEM is hard,” said Katy Compton, Director of Marketing and Programs for the Building for Kids.
“Part of the goal of the lab is to break down the barrier and show adults that STEM learning does not have to be complicated, it’s not as hard as they think and can totally engage with their kids on these subjects.”
Since the lab’s opening in November 2017, the Building for Kids has received an abundance of positive comments from adults. The most notable comes from a mother of a child with autism, who said her son loved the new lab.
“She said they usually could only stay for a few hours before her son felt overwhelmed. But with the lab, they were able to stay and play for almost five hours, with two hours just in the lab,” Compton said.
The Innovation Lab is constantly evolving, with new programs and different STEM learning challenges spread throughout the tables. Each visit is new and exciting for children and families.
“Kids have a natural curiosity, and we want to encourage that before the misconceptions can sink in. By encouraging kids’ curious and creative side, we are inspiring the next generation of innovators, no matter what field they decide to excel in,” Compton said.
You can make the Bright Ideas burn even brighter by adding your support.