Children and caregivers will learn about innovation through play in a new facilitated studio.
Everyone is a maker.
That is the premise behind Please Touch Museum’s new Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace Studio, located across from the Creative Arts Studio and new Centennial Innovations exhibition on the lower level. This new permanent studio, made possible through a gift from the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, is currently under development with construction slated to begin in late December and opening to visitors in early spring.
Learn more about the Makerspace Studio from PTM’s Chief Learning Officer Olivia Thomas, Director of Research and Evaluation Karen Elinich Ed.D, and Director of Exhibitions Charles McGhee Hassrick.
Q: What will visitors learn in the Makerspace Studio?
Karen Elinich Ed.D, Director of Research and Evaluation: The Makerspace Studio will be a dedicated space for open-ended exploration and prototyping, where children and caregivers utilize materials and tools to tinker and construct ideas, inventions and concepts using STEM principles. We want the space to empower children to think of themselves as an “inventor,” and through facilitated and self-directed experiences, discover that it is OK to fail, mess up, and try again.
The Makerspace Studio’s focus will be centered on how kids are creating, not what they are creating. The learning is found in the process of making, not the resulting end product. We will encourage older siblings and caregivers to engage with their young learners, so everyone takes an active role in the making process.
- Think first
- Make a plan
- Stay calm
- Listen to others
- Ask questions
- Share ideas and tools
- Be helpful
- Clean up
Q: What elements can visitors expect to find in the Makerspace Studio?
Charles McGhee Hassrick, Director of Exhibitions: We consulted with experts in makerspace design and facilitation to create a space that will engage a wide age range and provide appropriate materials and tools to inspire the making process. The space will reflect, but not compete with the Creative Arts Studio, and will have a more industrial feel that is scaled and accessible for young children – form and function over aesthetics.
We want visitors to tinker, investigate, inquire and play with materials and tools to create and innovate using their imagination. We will outfit the Makerspace Studio with adjustable height workbenches and industrial stools, mobile storage units and hanging peg boards to organize tools such as hammers, screwdrivers, drills, saws, hot glue guns, wrenches, measuring tape, levels, electrical wires, and more.
Q: How does the Makerspace Studio compliment the current experiences in the Museum?
Olivia Thomas, Chief Learning Officer: The Makerspace Studio is intentionally located across from our Creative Arts Studio which offers facilitated and self-directed art-making for families and our reimagined Centennial Innovations gallery, focusing on the themes of innovation and innovators, that will debut to visitors upon our reopening. These adjacent experiences explore STEAM principles: science, technology, engineering, art and math and provide an interconnected thematic experience for children to learn through play. We envision cross programming in these three spaces, so children can take what they just learned in one gallery, and build upon that learning in another space.
It’s notable that our Museum is located in historic Memorial Hall, the art gallery building for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, where countries across the globe showcased their works and inventions. Now, nearly 150 years later, this building is still focused on art and innovation, geared specifically for young families.
The Please Touch Museum Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace Studio is made possible with a gift from The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, and is one of the many ways we are Creating the Future of Play for young children.
Help Us Create the Future of Play.
Spaces such as the upcoming Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace Studio provide essential learning opportunities through play for young children who are discovering the world around them. Please help us continue this important work by supporting our urgent $5 million Creating the Future of Play Campaign.