The Discovery Zone invites children into the world of investigation, observation, trial and error, and endless possibilities. Each exhibit presents a variety of challenges and your child will approach them on a level that is appropriate at this point in time on his/her developmental continuum.
CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
- When playing with the flight lab and experimenting with different kinds of materials, children are exploring the effects of moving air on objects in its pathway. Through trial and error, children are testing which materials and designs fly better, faster, slower – much the same as a scientist.
- Not only are children utilizing the force of magnetism as they arrange and rearrange the tubes and ball run elements, but they are also predicting how the ball will travel through a series of tubes. Through much trial and error, children design intricate ball runs that work to their great satisfaction. This is a very active exhibit that requires a lot of creative problem solving.
- Notice that at some times one or two children might work on the wall to build individual ball runs and at other times several children may join together to work on a larger collaborative effort. Both are valid experiences.
ART AND MATH SKILLS
- Playing with mirrors provides opportunities to investigate reflection, angles, symmetry, and geometry, all with a touch of artistic flair.
- Listen to children’s use of language as they describe observations, changes they are making, and predictions of expected outcomes.
SUPPORT CHILDREN BY…
…being patient as children repeat tasks over and over and over again. They repeat task to practice and eventually master a skill. Each time a child performs the action, s/he is making predictions about what will happen next. Every failed experiment provides a platform for new learning.