Museums and Galleries Kids Activities Melbourne
You know how much we love Scienceworks and we're delighted to tell you about the all new children's space opening up at Scienceworks in December this year. Designed for and tested by young children, Scienceworks’ new permanent exhibition for babies to five-year-olds provides an engaging, playful and safe experience that builds foundational skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) through construction-play and creative experimentation.
Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together invites young children and adults to think, try and creatively problem solve.
Experiences are designed to be intuitive, instruction-free and open-ended. Children and their carers can tinker, design, build and test with shapes, lights, balls, and large-scale imaginative machines. In this screen-free space technology skills are flexible and multi-dimensional.
Future aeronautical engineers will design and construct flying contraptions; little sparks will make patterns and pictures with lights on a wall of colourful light up switches; pint sized problem solvers will experiment and construct colourful 3-dimensional puzzles and for all the littlies who love to touch and experiment there will be a forest of carwash brushes to be engineered into action. In the quieter baby zone, the earliest learners and their carers will be able to lounge within soft forms, gaze at the mirrored reflections and gently turn the wall spinners to create a cascade of materials within.
The exhibition is divided into three broad age and activity zones. Children are welcome to move around the whole space but each zone develops skills and provides experiences designed for targeted stages of development.
The Baby Landscape is a comfortable space, enclosed with a rolling mound to create a safe area for babies and crawlers. It features nooks and mounds for climbing, a moving overhead light display and spinners to enable the youngest scientists to investigate how different materials move in space.
The Tinkering Zone for toddlers to 3 year-olds allows children to play in parallel with their peers without having to share or wait turns. Open-ended activities encourage children to experiment and test their ideas – creating contraptions to fly in wind tubes, stacking and sorting custom-made blocks on a colourful light table, and practicing foundational coding skills such as sequencing and critical thinking. A light-up switch
wall develops fine motor skills and deductive thinking and a sensory-stimulating environment encourages exploration.
The Collaborative Zone designed for 3 to 5 year-olds is an active, physical space where children use communication and social skills to solve problems and achieve goals. Using large-scale construction and simple machines, crews of children can work together and create big things. There is opportunity for both open-ended play and goal-oriented play in this space.
Visitors to Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together will spot Dot throughout the space – a curious, cheeky character whose name was inspired by geologist and palaeontologist Dr Dorothy Hill, the first female fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and a pivotal role model for encouraging women into tertiary science education in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together will be part of Museums Victoria’s autism-friendly museum project, with social stories available online in early 2018.
Opening: 4th December, 2017