Thinkery’s Little Thinkers Preschool is more than just a place of joyful learning – it was created in hopes of becoming a lab model school. This means that educators and researchers from Thinkery’s STEAM Learning Institute (SLI), the University of Texas at Austin, and others examine the impact our inclusive, play-based STEAM Learning has on kindergarten readiness and the development of children’s durable skills.
A Lab Model School in Action
Steam Learning Institute educators have begun collaborating with Little Thinkers Preschool teachers by going into classrooms and testing out STEAM play-based activities such as musical instrument engineering, light and shadow exploration, and force and motion through the use of ramps.
It helps us ensure that we bring quality playful experiences to the school community aligned with Thinkery’s way of learning.Patricia Rodriguez, STEAM Learning Institute
Exploration of Force and Motion with Ramps activity was tended out during Teacher Tyra’s class visit.
Children explored two different provocations:
1. Maker! Students were encouraged to build something that moves.
2. Ramps! Students explored ramps in story time and were given materials to engineer their own ramps.
Both were tested! Using the ramps made, students tested the objects they had built.
Why Having a Lab Model School is Critical
Lab model schools, like Little Thinkers Preschool, are hubs of innovation and collaboration that foster growth and change in a century-old education system. For Thinkery, we use our lab model schools to continue to innovate on our play-based learning approach and learnings are integrated into our Professional Development programs for local educators.
Thinkery is on a mission to lead the future of play-based STEAM learning experiences that inspire and equip all children to be confident, creative thinkers and the work that is happening within the STEAM Learning Institute and Little Thinkers Preschool is helping us do just that.