Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making it Move

What happens when you are asked to push a child on a swing? "Higher, go higher," she may request of you. Give a child a toy car and watch how she creates paths and ramps so that the car can go farther and faster. A child's fascination with moving objects can inspire numerous scientific observations and experimentation with the basic concepts of physics. In order to really understand motion you have to think about forces, acceleration and mass. Because motion is an observable phenomenon, it allows children to see the effect of their actions on the world around them - the direct connection between each action and reaction.

With so many experiences that invite direct exploration of basic cause and effect, Make It Move (MIM) is at the conceptual heart of DuPage Children's Museum. Children and their adult learning partners can make predictions about what they think will happen next, then test, change the variables and test again! For the youngest children, MIM can help them feel that the world is a predictable place. This Neighborhood is a simple stepping stone to understanding and applying the scientific method. And each exhibit in MIM is designed to foster discovery and cooperative play.

Make It Move is being re-designed and re-engineered with new trestles for higher ramps; a specials lifter to "get the ball rolling"; a new Experimentation Station with a double track, mag-lev "cars" and offset spools. Stay tuned! In future posts we will share more information about how children explore the physics of "making it move" and post pictures from our member opening of MIM on Friday evening.

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