Why have only a science club when you can have both a science AND art club?
A space to make and create, to figure out, and to play?
To design, to invent, to explore, to experiment, to build, to fiddle,
to wonder, to ponder, to marvel, to solve?
"There is no substitute for hands-on fooling around with real stuff. "
–MIT professor Dr. John G. King
structure + Creativity
WonderWorld anchors its learning philosophy at the juncture of structure, creativity, and fun. We take the approach that through the making of functional things, students will necessarily come upon and learn the physics, chemistry, biology, and geology underpinning their creations.
Art for art’s sake has value, but we look beyond the paint-with-your-elbows activities to situate student creativity within limitations, giving them the structure to succeed by finding creative solutions to problems.
We believe that giving kids the chance to test out their imaginations, to have fun constructing tangible solutions to real problems/challenges, and to discover entirely new possibilities is the best way to create enduring scientists and lifelong learners. This is driving philosophy behind WonderWorld Science.
We base the success of our program on the pride and ownership students feel both in
what devices they create and in what science they can explain.
And on their SMILES… which tend to correlate highly.
“Education is not the learning of facts,
but the training of the mind to think." –Albert Einstein
Active Agents in Their Success
Students tend to have enough time during the day for sitting still and listening, so WonderWorld Science is a time for them to be active agents in the creation of their hypotheses, models, prototypes, and successes. Having kids at the helm of their investigations doesn’t mean workshops are without learning objectives or teacher inputs; prompts and visuals, short video clips, as well as some direct instruction are woven through the workshops to ensure students have the information and inspiration needed to reach their goals.
“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” –Socrates
Innovation, resilience, Genuine Success
Imagination and inquiry are at the heart of innovation. Our workshops are tailored to guide students in developing their scientific thinking, playful and meaningful experimentation, resilience through failed prototypes, and genuine success.
“Somewhere, something incredible
is waiting to be known.” –Carl Sagan
Common Goal, Individual output
Each student arrives with his or her own ideas and excitements, so naturally their interpretation of the possibilities presented by each workshop will result in different products. We don't give flashy demos and kits with strict instructions, we give kids the chance to get a bit messy, to form and shift their ideas, and invent their own solution to the stated goal. For example, in one workshop each student may have the challenge to build a pinball machine capable of certain tasks, but how it looks and how it achieves those tasks will differ widely from student to student. What will be common to all students across all workshops is a better understanding of the rules of the physical world, and their agency in it.
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science,
the one that heralds the most discoveries,
is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but 'That's funny...” –Isaac Asimov
What Works, What Doesn't and Why
Simply put, WonderWorld Science is a blend of intuitive creation and logical reflection; building stuff to figure out what works, what doesn't, and why. It’s the same approach scientists have been taking throughout history to unravel the mysteries of the world and become the kind of thinkers whose names we know and whose ideas we live by.