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Exhibit Exclusive: Taking a Deeper Look at Innovation Station

Exhibit Exclusive: Taking a Deeper Look at Innovation Station

Innovation Station is designed to teach children how to use design-process thinking. This means that children start with an idea, create a design, build a product from that design, test the design, and then try again—each time working to create the best version of their product. Each part of the exhibit offers children opportunities to tinker with different designs and machines, giving them space to think critically and problem solve creatively as they construct different inventions. Kids are developing skills necessary for innovation, while caregivers and educators are being given the opportunity to engage with them in the activity and support their learning.

When visiting the DoSeum and exploring Innovation Station, consider trying out the following activities:

  1. Tinkering with Robotics, Robot Run: In this area of the exhibit, you and your kiddo can edit different robotic functions in order to best equip your robots to battle in the robot arena. This is a great space to introduce kids to robotics for the first time, as well as to engage your kids in a little fun competition.
  2. Make a Contraption, Build a Bridge: In each part of the exhibit, exhibits areas that require machine building offer a series of challenges to the participant. At Build a Bridge, participants are challenged to build a bridge that hold the most weight or connects different buildings and landscapes. Challenge your kiddos to achieve each challenge, and to go beyond it, by say, connecting at least 3 different structures or supporting a certain amount of weight. You can also have a friendly contest between kiddos, with a little competition driving innovation.
  3. Tinkering with Machines, Air Machines: the air machines area of Innovation Station is another great place to experiment with machine building. Kiddos take different materials such as straws and coffee filters and launch them into the different wind machines, experimenting with the way machines respond to different forms of air flow, and then restructuring machines to function well and fly in the wind.
  4. The Workshop: Build off of your kids’ school experiences or utilize their hobbies and passions by coming into the workshop with a unique project in mind. Using the building sticks and connectors within the workshop, you could try building an approximation of grandma’s house or the Alamo. Or challenge your kiddos to incorporate key concepts from school—to use different shapes or angles. Discovery Leaders are also present in the Workshop to help guide you and your kids through the building process.

Along with these activities, Innovation Station has even more to offer, with the Magnetic Force Course, the CAT Simulator, the Robot Run, and even more activities that use machine building, tinkering, and design process thinking to encourage kids to innovate and think like engineers. Make sure to come and explore every nook and cranny of Innovation Station and our other six permanent exhibits for a full and engaging DoSeum experience!

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Posted by Miranda Clark at 10:30 PM
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