By: Children’s Museum of South Dakota

Following a summer of research and prototyping, a Maker Studio is opening at the Children’s Museum of South Dakota.

Designed for making, inventing, tinkering and creativity, the space will offer those age 5 and older a place to collaborate and learn new skills.

The studio will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 3-5 p.m. A $5 material fee per person ($4 for members) is required for the drop-off program.

A free open house for the space is set for 1-4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9.

The maker movement has been making waves throughout the country in schools, libraries and museums, and Children’s Museum officials say they are excited to have a space dedicated to this style of hands-on learning.

Studies consistently show that children’s motivation in their own learning increases when they engage in problem-based learning.

“The experiences in this space will be curiosity-driven, experimental, problem-based, and flexible,” CMSD Director of Education Carrie Benson said. “We have put a great deal of time and research into this space, and we are excited to see where it leads.”

The initial activities to be introduced to the space will include wire sculpture, circuitry, coding and robotics, as well as a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education kits.

While the space will offer opportunity to explore all different styles of making, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the studio is a “make and take” style space.

Rather, children will have the opportunity to explore their own questions across a wide variety of topics in the arts and sciences sometimes resulting in a take-home product, while other times resulting in creating something as a group that will stay at the museum.

Activities in this space will be flexible with the ability to evolve and change along with its occupants. Above all, the space is built for the children and will grow and develop through time with each experience it encounters.

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