On June 9, Thinkery announced it would open Little Thinkers Preschool, a research-focused lab school serving children ages 3 and 4, in Fall 2020 Today, the museum announced additional details about the planned school, including an official start date of September 8, 2020, and a virtual Open House for interested parents on July 8-9.
“We’re very excited about our Little Thinkers Preschool,” said Adrienne Barnett, Thinkery’s Director of Learning Experiences. “Promoting kindergarten readiness and early childhood STEAM learning opportunities has always been a central part of our educational mission. Little Thinkers Preschool is the next step in expanding that effort and creating additional opportunities to serve our community.”
Curricula and assessment will be designed in collaboration with Thinkery Connect, Thinkery’s early learning research partnership with Dr. Cristine Legare of The University of Texas at Austin, a nationally recognized expert in child development and science education, and Dr. Amy Bryan, the Director of The Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory (The UT Lab School). This research partnership will ensure that each child benefits from best practices in play-based STEAM early learning to enhance kindergarten readiness.
“Our goal is to increase and improve our community’s high-quality childcare capacity,” Barnett noted. “The lab school model means that eventually we can share our learnings with other schools and childcare providers to promote STEAM interest and school readiness throughout Austin.”
Little Thinkers Preschool will be a full-day preschool, with classes set to begin on Tuesday, September 8 following the Labor Day holiday. Class sizes in the first year will be limited to maximize the educators’ ability to interact with each student while also being mindful of social distancing guidelines and community health needs.
Since the museum is currently closed to the public except for weekday Camp attendees, Thinkery will host two virtual Open House events for prospective families. The Open House will be a chance for interested families to learn about Thinkery’s educational philosophy, educator team, research and community partners, pricing, calendar and enrollment process. There will also be time for Q&A during each event.
The first virtual Open House will be Wednesday, July 8 from 6 pm—7 pm; the second event will be Thursday, July 9 from 1 pm—2 pm. You can register online at thinkeryaustin.org/preschool.