When you think of a museum, the image that comes to mind is keeping your hands at your sides and looking at artifacts. That isn’t what the Knock Knock Children’s Museum is about. With a target audience of birth through third grade, we encourage kids to learn through play about a variety of topics using modern technology in combination with beloved stories—both old and new.

Fourteen years of research went into developing exhibits that involve learning through play before the museum opened in August of 2017. STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) has blossomed even more since we opened almost two years ago, but we didn’t want to sacrifice creativity and literacy.

Related content: 6 STEAM education resources for any classroom

Here are some innovative ways STEAM is integrated into storytelling

STEAM education is integrated in every single learning zone throughout the museum, just as it is everywhere in life. For example, in the Art Garden children may be creating squishy circuits with Play-Doh to make things light up or buzz. In the Knock Knock Maker Shop they may be building Scribbling Machines using motors and batteries and are challenged to create a contraption that moves across the page and leave a mark in its path. And in Go Go Garage, they may be designing cars with LEGOs, testing them on inclined race tracks, and then making adjustments so they can go faster.

About the Author:

Cate Heroman, a former teacher and state early childhood/elementary administrator, retired from Teaching Strategies in 2012. She’s the author of Making and Tinkering with STEM: Solving Design Challenges for Young Children, and volunteers as education chair and past board chair for the Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


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