Did you know that San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum designs and fabricates most of its own exhibits? There is a team of experts behind the scenes innovating and cultivating these hands-on educational exhibits and this team is called PlayLAB!
What is PlayLAB?
Hands-on educational exhibit design, innovation, and fabrication from concept to completion in collaboration with community partners.
Purpose of PlayLAB:
To ensure educational value and intent in all exhibit development.
To establish educational and developmental benchmarks achieved by a child’s interaction with a particular exhibit.
To review, evaluate, and re-think how to make each exhibit the most educationally impactful based on watching child interactions with the particular exhibit.
Educational Goals of Exhibits:
Hands-On educational experiences of "learning through play" and discovery.
Providing the child with a fun opportunity to tinker, innovate, problem solve, and use creative thinking in their approach to new surroundings; ultimately developing important life skills.
Who is involved in PlayLAB?
Amanda Martin, Director of Education at San Diego Children's Discovery Museum
Kimmy Vanderbuilt PhD. at Cal State San Marcos
Community Partners in early childhood education
Kristen Hawkes, Director of Museum Experience at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
Jason Han, Partner/ San Diego President of New Urban West and PlayLAB Committee Chair at San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
New School of Architecture
Del Lago Academy, Campus of Applied Science
High Tech High
Community Partners in design and fabrication
The kids aren’t the only one’s learning:
One of the most important parts of PlayLAB is fueling the creative thinking of the team behind it. Each member and community partner involved in PlayLAB is challenged to think outside the box and create new, fresh, and educationally impactful exhibits for children as well as monitor, evaluate, and retool each exhibit for an optimized educational experience.
The ability to partner with community organizations with middle school, high school, and college aged students is crucial to the Museum’s mission to nurture children from cradle to career. The side by side collaboration of students and working professionals who are experts in their fields, fosters workforce readiness and valuable mentorship opportunities for these students.
PlayLAB creates new exhibits based on a 3-month timeline.
Exhibit development is cyclical, with constant re-evaluation and revamping at the core of perfecting the educational experience.
Watch and Learn more about PlayLAB
Interested in joining PlayLAB or becoming more involved?