My kids and I had the opportunity to go to an open house at Kids Science Labs in Wheaton with hands-on science experiments and had a great time. The instructors were very energetic and knowledgable, and the lab spaces were fun and well prepared! Meet Shegan and Keith, the founders for Kids Science Labs, and learn about what they offer kids in the world of math, science, creative thinking, and problem solving.
Kids Science Labs all started in Chicago in 2010 when two dads, friends, and avid problem solvers, Shegan Campbell and Keith Norsym, decided that instead of trying to find a great idea, they wanted to identify a problem that they were passionate about, and fix it. One Saturday afternoon at Panera Bread a few years ago, they asked…
“Why is it that from the time they are infants, kids are the worlds’ best problem solvers, yet, as they get older, so many of them thing science is boring, for the smart kids, or just plain hard?”
“And why is it that in the U.S. we don’t actively teach kids how to design, create, build, and fully explore the science that they are curious about. Kids love science, so why do so few have an opportunity to explore it. Isn’t science fun, mysterious, and engaging.”
Really, kids’ brains are wired to solve problems. Just try locking a cabinet, leaving them alone for 2 minutes in the room, or letting them mix cookies on their own. They are brilliant engineers and investigators, but then by fifth grade, research suggests that they are already losing creativity.
As parents, we want our kids to think about the world to solve problems, and hands-on science is the best tool for teaching problem solving, offering real context, and making the neural connections that enhance creativity and critical thinking in way that improves long-term success for kids.
We often define science in terms of museums, a lab table with a boring experiment, a chemical reaction, or an equation we had to memorize. While these things fit the definition, at Kids Science Labs the way we think about hands-on science is “A perspective to approach the world”. We are all scientists because we are all interested in learning. From designing a house, to running faster, getting rid of that nasty cold, or trying to win a court case – we are all searching to know more. This is especially true in young kids and exactly what makes hands-on science a key feature of every kids’ life.
So Kids Science Labs was started to create a place where children could practice hands-on science everyday. It is about thinking about challenging problems, not being afraid of them, trying to understand the core issue, iterating, and continuing to work the solution. It is baked into every class because the equation your kids will learn in high school matters, but it matters much less then understanding what the equation represents.
Hands on science is making a chair out of paper cups, duct tape, and foam board – because it allows us to experience and play while also teaching us about fundamental science. Young kids want to know “why” and it is why they have classes about designing shoes, making fidget spinners, why airplanes fly, how to innovate a pen with custom colors, designing lightsabers, and creating a mobile art studio that fits in the car seat.
Hands-on science matters because it helps us learn. It is especially important that our kids do this everyday not because they will all be scientists, but because they all will be curious and need ways to relate and solve the complex problems that the world presents.
Kids Science Labs (KSL) offers weekly 75 minute hands-on science classes, birthday parties, summer camps, field trips, and special events for kids ages 2-12 all year long. Join them for a free class and see what hands-on science is all about, as your kids design and create: airplane cockpits, bridges, flashlights, fidget spinners, and much more!
Kids Science Labs
275 Rice Lake Square
Wheaton, IL 60189
This post is sponsored by Kids Science Labs.