Nearly every man, woman, and child sits in front of a computer screen, TV monitor, tablet, or mobile phone, fascinated by the image in front of them.
But the Cole Children’s Museum in Glenview, with significant support from the Dover Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Dover Corporation in Downers Grove, encourages children to take a more active role in technology.
Stephanie Bynum, Vice President of Programs at Call, said:
She said technology is more than computers, an aspect reflected in the DoverTech Playlab, which debuted at the Cole Children’s Museum before the pandemic and is now a permanent feature.
Sewing machines were featured in February. Before that, it was “Code-a-Pillars,” where kids learn about sequences and coding to make toys move, play music, and do other fun things.
Now, through April 7th, kids and their adults can operate Dot and Dash, a programmable sensory robot at the Dover Tech Play Lab.
By issuing commands, children can program colorful robots to move, turn, and navigate mazes.
With the help of museum education experts in groups or on their own, fast-learning children are introduced to coding concepts such as sequencing, hypothesizing, memorizing, and debugging.
A child-controlled robot navigates through a maze of play blocks at the Cole Children’s Museum.
– Joe Leonard | Staff Photographer
“We are delighted to support the Cole Children’s Museum’s valuable learning facilities,” said Adrian Sakowitz, president of the Dover Foundation, an offshoot of a diverse global manufacturer.
“The Dover Foundation is committed to supporting educational initiatives like our own Dover Scholars Program and believes this is another way to advance initiatives to improve children’s STEM experiences. ,” said Sakowicz.
While providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) concepts in a developmentally friendly environment, these hands-on projects (Cole is constantly researching and testing new projects such as green screen technology) Teach kids patience to deal with technology. said Bynum.
“It fosters a sense of mindset and persistence that children need throughout their lives, because technology stays and doesn’t go away,” she said.
Bynum’s education is in child development, but in planning the Dover Tech Play Lab, the museum said she worked with officials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University to design what the program would look like. she said.
Separated by movable dividers, the labs are typically divided into four flexible spaces with tables, chairs, and technology such as the monthly theme Dots and Dashes.
Glenview’s Lincoln Fitch, 5, will operate a robot at the Cole Children’s Museum in Glenview on Tuesday.
– Joe Leonard | Staff Photographer
Each space is reserved for a family “pod” for children starting at age 2. Education specialists are assigned to each family and may need a little help.
“Some families like to do it themselves, others prefer more instruction,” Bynum said.
The Dover Tech Play Lab is available Tuesday through Thursday afternoon sessions at 12:30pm, 1:30pm and 2:30pm. Fridays are members-only at 9:30 am. There will also be sessions at 10:30 am and 11:30 am at the Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd.
Because it’s a “super popular program,” Bynum said play lab reservations are required, but are free and can be done at the Cole front desk at check-in.
“There’s a lot of energy in the room,” Bynum said.
At Kohl’s Dover Tech Play Lab, technology is not a passive activity.
“Technology, especially computers, only do what we tell them to do,” Bynum said. “And that is an important lesson for young children to understand, and an important lesson for all of us to understand. I want to become one.”