MORGANTOWN —Who knew science could be so sweet?
Kids at Spark! Imagination and Science Center got the chance to participate in a Hands-On Science day at the Mountaineer Mall Saturday, exploring the world of engineering through a few hands on activities.
“I try to do something that’s take home. Something they get to make and take with them, and so this time was the gingerbread houses,” said Tiffany Martin, Spark! Imagination and Science Center’s Education Coordinator.
Martin has a lot of different themed hands on activities she shares with the children, some have covered electricity others deal with biology.
“It’s sometimes just finding a really cool item that, this would be really cool, this would help with engineering,” she said.
Aside from the gingerbread spread of decorations and sugary structures, kids could also build with LEGOS. Martin likes to incorporate challenges for the crew and encourages them to think outside the box a bit.
“The whole idea is that they’re playing and they’re having fun but ideally they’re also learning something and exploring the sciences through the play,” she said.
Martin said though there are lots of different learning styles, and kids learn really well by doing things. It create a personal connection between the tangible object and a particular subject.
“We learn best when it’s interesting to us and that we enjoy it,” she said.
The kids enjoyed the activities. Martin said they like to take their time and use their imaginations when creating they’re gingerbread structures. It’s about figuring things, trial and error, which goes hand in hand with engineering.
In 2019, Spark! has a lot of special events as they embark onto a new year. Martin said their next event is on Jan. 2.
Outside the Box is a cardboard creation day. In the aftermath of Christmastime packaging kids can create whatever they like out of boxes with different art supplies and materials.
“Last year was the first time we did it and we had some kids make some really cool things out of cardboard. Drawbridges, a kid made a typewriter,” she said.
Building, making and creating all go hand together in engineering. Martin said it’s all part of learning problem solving. If something doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean nothing will work, and that applies to a lot of other areas, said Martin.
“You’ve got to figure out a way to work around solutions and be creative about it. Engineering helps with that,” she said.