Explore

Children learn about their communities, their environments and the world through exploration. With maps, models and shifting scales, Explore will encourage children to sharpen their 21st-century discovery skills by exploring the man-made physical aspects of their lives in San Antonio, learning how we live and work together and connecting to other parts of the globe. In Explore, collaboration and interaction among visitors strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving.

Learning Objectives

  • Provides opportunities to navigate and explore using the latest geospatial technologies

  • Provides opportunities to build models of the built environment, acting as urban planners and designers.

  • Stimulates curiosity about the world, its cultures and the systems that support it.

Activities by Recommended Age

Newborn to 4 years-old: Giant States Puzzle-- Every kid has seen a puzzle map of the United States—but not at this scale! When the foam puzzle is assembled it is about 12 feet from coast to coast with pieces large enough to sit on. Each state (and some groups of smaller states) acts as separate pieces to be matched to a floor graphic. Groups can work together to assemble the map and challenge one another other to name the states.

5 to 8 years-old: Zoom in, Zoom Out-- This interactive installation uses kids’ bodies to zoom in and out of different world locations. A map on the ground has six different “jump” points. Overhead is a large screen with these six different locations. By jumping, the view zooms in and in until it reaches a video about the location. A special surprise at San Antonio brings the view right above! If kids work together to zoom everything out a special effect brings together the views to one connected world.

9 to 11 years-old: Megalopolis-- This model building activity is rooted in the idea that a community is composed of individual parts that can be fit together in multiple ways. The exhibit provides a self-facilitated challenge for groups to work together to build individual cities—with the option for groups to link their cities together in a larger regional model. The activity is sequenced: kids select elements for the city, fit the parts together, and then reflect upon the city they have created. 

Tips

  • Planning a trip to Mexico? In Explore, we have a two-way live viewport to Mexico City’s Papalote Museo del Nino! Kids can wave and greet new friends in another country!

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