Credit: Thinkery Austin
Austin’s Thinkery is a STEAM engine to power kids’ imagination, creativity and love of learning.
Thinkery is where Austin’s children and their families come to enjoy play-based, inquiry-rich, hands-on learning experiences. Through a variety of hands-on, interactive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) exhibits and programs, Thinkery encourages physical, emotional and cognitive development for young learners and fosters joyful curiosity for all ages.
In 1983, a group of Austin parents and educators created a space to provide innovative new educational and cultural opportunities to local children. Over the next three decades, the Austin Children’s Museum would grow and evolve, dedicated to creating innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers.
In 2013, the newly-renamed Thinkery moved into its current home, which offers 40,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor activities for children and families to learn through play. The iconic “big red cube” has become a top destination for Austin families and educators, hosting more than 460,000 visitors each year.
Play with a Purpose!
Children learn through play – it helps develop the ability to imagine, perceive, reason, and problem solve while building a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Thinkery’s galleries are full of hands-on, play-based activities, whether it’s a child-led exploration of the connections between water and sound in Currents; alongside an adult creating stop motion animations in Innovators’ Workshop, experimenting with movement in a Move Studio obstacle course; or testing out an idea with new materials in a Spark Shop making activity.
Build STEAM Knowledge
While all children are born with an innate sense of curiosity about the world around them, they need adults to foster, guide and amplify their interests in STEAM. Thinkery provides engaging, high-quality STEAM experiences that cut across subject areas and set the stage for how children approach learning into adulthood. At Thinkery, children can explore cause and effect with electricity and switches, play with patterns manipulating colors in Light Lab, test structure and purpose designing a catapult in Camp, and investigate size and purpose of tiny structures at Micro Eye.
By providing opportunities for parents and caregivers to share these STEAM learning experiences and to act as essential parts of their child’s early learning, Thinkery helps create a foundation for families to grow and play together throughout their lives.
Keeping parents in mind
Thinkery offers a variety of programs for busy parents, including a variety of drop-off activities like Day Camps (for school holidays when many parents need to work) and regular Parents’ Night Out events, which allow parents and caregivers some “me time” on a Friday night. Thinkery is also open late every Wednesday evening for Community Night, when admission is free (but donations are always welcome).
To learn more about Thinkery exhibits and events, as well as a variety of helpful information for first time visitors, visit thinkeryaustin.org.
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