Wednesday, July 30, 2014

STEM Skills with Thomas & Friends

My drive to and from work every day during the school year involves crossing University Avenue in St. Paul.  Normally, not a big deal, but for the past several years it has been under construction, adding rails for the Metro Green Line.  The construction drove me a little crazy, though the girls loved it.  Now the trains are finally running on the Green Line and that makes the girls even happier!

Last week we took our first trip on the Green Line.  We took the train to downtown Minneapolis to have lunch with E, and check out the farmer's market.  It was a great trip.

After our trip, the girls were extra excited about trains.  So, for one of our next adventures, we planned a trip to one of our very favorite places, the Minnesota Children's Museum, to check out the new Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails exhibit.

While the girls were excited to see Thomas and his friends, I was excited that there were STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) skills worked in to the various parts of the exhibit.  I think we do a pretty good job of working on literacy skills at home, but I'm not always sure how to engage the girls in science and math at home.  Visiting the Thomas & Friends exhibit gave me some new ideas about how to use STEM thinking skills as my girls play.  Throughout the exhibit there were signs giving ideas about what to ask kids to help them think about their projects.  For example, as the girls were working with different tools (technology skill) to fix Percy's wheel, I was talking to the girls about what they were doing and why they were making certain choices.  Overall, we had a lot of fun exploring the Thomas & Friends exhibit, and I left feeling like the girls had learned a lot too!  You can read more about how the Thomas & Friends exhibit integrates STEM skills and the 7Cs here

Local friends, if you haven't visited the Minnesota Children's Museum this summer, I would highly recommend it!  Besides having the special Thomas & Friends exhibit, Creativity Jam is back (one of my all time favorites!) and the Rooftop Art Park is open too.  It's a great time to visit the museum!

Full disclosure, my family and I are provided with a free membership to the Minnesota Children's Museum in exchange for being a Smart Play Ambassador.  Of course, all opinions are completely my own.

1 comment:

  1. I literally would have never noticed, because when I take my kiddos there, I just usually am one of the parents sitting down and reading my phone, or talking to whatever friend I went with ;) Ha!!

    Luke LOVED!!!!!!!! the Thomas exhibit, which was no surprise, but the girls I was with (including Annie) were not into it - so possibly we should have been going through these activities with them instead of just letting them play on their own!