Kentucky Science Center employees speak to Danville Rotary

Published 6:46 am Thursday, October 25, 2018


Danville Rotary

Can learning about science, technology, engineering and math be fun? On Oct. 19, Cheri Grinnell and Justin Magaw came to Rotary to explain why they both think it can be.

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Cheri is an early childhood specialist at the Kentucky Science Center (KSC). Justin Magaw is the manager of Partner and Program Strategy at KSC. Both are supporting Boyle County Library’s current exhibit: an innovative science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) project called “Science in Play2Go.”

The exhibit incorporates key elements of the KSC’s philosophy that early childhood learning should involve tinkering, exploring, trying things out, collaborating with others and testing results. The project is supported by PNC Grow Up Great and Genentech.

The Boyle County Library applied to be a part of the initiative, and was chosen as one of eight across the state to participate. Justin explained that Danville was chosen because of the school system’s 90-percent graduation rate, the community’s broad support of innovation in education, and its location (two hours from any major population centers). Magaw noted that, “The City of Firsts will be the location at which a cumulative total of 100,000 visitors to SIP2Go is achieved. The exhibit is completely free to the community, schools and community groups.

The project arrived in Danville on Sept. 8 and departs on Dec. 2. Science in Play2GO is the mobile version of Kentucky Science Center’s progressive next-generation learning experience that empowers children and adults to learn together through the power of play. KSC created the mobile version to expand its reach beyond Louisville by making its learning tools available across the state.

Designed by KSC specifically for ages 8 and under, Science In Play2Go (SIP2GO) combines curiosity and critical thinking with creativity and problem-solving. All are critical in STEM professions.

SIP2GO empowers children and families to learn together by using fun, hands-on activities and by encouraging the simple principle of “playing.”

On display at the Boyle County Public Library SIP2GO is the mobile version of KSC’s progressive next-generation learning experience. The project purpose is to encourage children and adults to learn together through a learning experience designed specifically for ages 8 and younger. It exploits curiosity, critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving to foster learning by using hands-on activities.

Cheri Grinnell began her presentation by asking, “What’s happening when kids are playing?” She explained that thinking about that is a central part of her job as an early childhood learning specialist. Actually she tries to think of new ways to play with kids that re-enforces the skills and insights they have gained through their play experiences. Her favorite philosophy is, “We don’t quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing”.

Grinnell came to Danville six months ago to learn about the community and its interaction with the library. She told the Rotarians that she learned that the community cares about each other, what’s happening in the area, and participation with Library events is high. “We certainly have experienced high exhibit traffic!”