Drop by during your visit to experience hands on, inquiry- based activities and experiments. A Whitaker Center Educator will be present to assist you and your family with creative and innovative challenges to help inspire the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians.
The STEM Design Studios are open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4pm and Sunday 12pm - 4pm for all ages to explore Ozobots, iPads, Spheros, design building challenges, and many other STEM activities.
Each day from 9:30 -11:30, the education staff will be in KidsPlace hosting a creative, hands-on activity for friends 5 and under to make and take home.
We can’t wait to build, learn, create, and grow with our STEM learners!
The newly-renovated STEM Design Studio labs are located on the Lower Level of Harsco Science Center and give visitors the opportunity to explore hands-on, inquiry based activities that allow for exploration of many different STEM activities.
Why did the labs need renovated?
The labs were built in 1999 when the original Whitaker Center building was constructed. Not only were the labs in need of a fresh coat of paint and some upgrades after being used for twenty years, but the method of educating children has also changed over two decades.
Long gone are the days of hours of direct instruction where students sat at heavy tables in folding chairs listening to a lesson. The new STEM Design Studio spaces feature flexible furniture and a changing set up, allowing for more exploration and interaction. Educators will be able to easily move the furniture to work for the activity they are planning and best serve the needs of the learner. Alternative seating will be available to spark collaboration and creativity while in the lab spaces. The new design will foster the maker in every patron that enters the building.
What are the labs be used for?
The Whitaker Center Education Department use the STEM Design Studios as the hub of their educational programming. To name a few, we offer Girl Scout, Girls in STEM, Discovery Camps, and Drop-in STEM workshops within the newly renovated spaces. The newest of these initiatives is the Drop-in STEM Labs. These are open for all patrons to experience during their visit.
Patrons meet a STEM Educator at the lab doors and are introduced to the day’s inquiry- based challenges. Groups will then have time to design, test, and refine their projects to fulfill the posed requirements. These activities may include circuitry, K’Nex design challenges, iPad activities, Pre-K activities, 3D printing, and introductory computer coding and robotics.
The Whitaker Center Education Department is very excited to grow the Drop-in STEM offerings as new technologies and activities are developed.
How is it going to impact the community?
For the first time, ALL Whitaker Center patrons will have a chance to explore these labs. In the past, the labs were used for paid programming separate from the Science Center. With new larger doors and open floor plan concept, patrons are now able to explore engaging activities while also visiting the Harsco Science Center. These spaces will no longer be exclusive but rather inclusive to the Science Center guest.
What programs will be added to the Whitaker Center Education portfolio?
Whitaker Center is developing the computer coding and robotics curriculum for the next year. This programming will be held within the STEM Design Studios and will be continually evolving and meeting the needs of 21st Century learners. Additionally, the Whitaker Center Education Department plans to explore expanded offerings for Pre-K learners in and out of the STEM Design Studios. With the new STEM Design Sttudios, the future is bright for Whitaker Center’s Education Department.
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