Innovators Lab Helps Kids Learn Science Through Art

An NBC 7 grant is helping children learn in a unique way at a San Diego museum

Kids can now learn about science and math by making cool projects, like drones and LED holiday cards, at a new Innovators Lab.

The permanent exhibit recently opened at the New Children's Museum in downtown San Diego. NBC 7 is a proud part of making the lab possible, by awarding the musuem a $25,000 grant through the 21st Century Grant program.

The Innovators Lab is a collaborative makerspace experiment. The museum works with local artists and experts from various fields to create open ended design challenges to nurture creativity, problem solving, skill building, and learning.

"When you demystify science for them and you turn it into an art and creative and play environment, all of a suddent things that seems impossible beccome possible for them," said Judy Forrester, the museum's Chief Executive Officer.

"What sets this apart from other makerspaces is the collaboration with external professionals," said Tomoko Kuta, director of education and exhibitions. 

The current Spinning Tops Workshop teaches kids about balance and gravity. Kids don safety masks then use a lathe to create their own tops from wax. 

"I think with Innovators lLab we're able to empower kids to think about using real tools and it builds confidence and creativity," said Lani Bautisa Cabanilla, the manager of Visitor Programs.

The workshops will change four times a year. Up next: workshops in collaboration with an architect and an engineer. 

During the lab's first project, children created their own drones to explore the concept of buoyancy.

The second project taught children about electricity and currency by building LED lit holiday cards.

"When you think about workforce development, and you think about, what are those 21st century skills our students are going to need to be in the workforce, things like an Innovators Lab really give kids a leg up for that," Forrester told NBC7.

 The lab is designed for kids who are in the 7 to 13-year-old age range.

"It's a really good way to work with our families as they age up with our museum," said Kuta.

The lab is included with the museum admission.  The museum says 30 percent of children visit at no cost, thanks to fundraising that helps reach community centers, military families and foster children.

"For us, it's really enriching because we get to each out to the broad community and bring resources here and then just share it with the families who come," Kuta said.

For more information about the new Innovators Lab, click here.

To learn more about NBC 7's 21st Century Grant program, click here.

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