LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Museum of Discovery’s tinkering studio is a busy place every summer.
It’s designed for explorative and foundational play.
“My hope is that something they encounter here will kind of spark further learning,” says Ben Watson, Tinkering Studio Manager.
New camps at the museum in downtown Little Rock are bringing different activities to the table.
Educators say hands-on learning is critical for kids to understand how mixing science, art and design all work.
“Paper bags, boxes, materials they can use to actually create some type of science experiment with some basic household items,” says Peggy Thibodeau, Educator.
It’s about taking things children see and use on an everyday basis and getting crafty with STEM.
Watson is helping them use coffee filters and toilet paper rolls, among other things, to make a plane then seeing how well it does in a glass tube that has air flow pushing to the top.
“I grew up in a time where science was kind of not as much fun. It was a lot of lectures,” Thibodeau says.
Now, she’s involved in planning what children get to do at the museum’s summer camps. Her goal is to bring fun, outside-of-the-box activities. What kids learn from that can be beneficial in the upcoming school year.
“I know that they’re gonna go back to school more excited about STEM learning than they were when they first came here,” continues Thibodeau.
The hope is to keep children engaged and knowledgable during the summer months with a lesson that there is always something to learn and teach others.
“Education doesn’t stop whenever you graduate or get a degree or something like that. It’s a lifelong process,” Watson adds.
Some upcoming summer camps incorporate legos, Harry Potter and lightsabers.
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