JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas State University Museum is offering a couple of exhibits that allow its younger patrons to learn through "hands on" stations.
Newton's Corner comes from the Arkansas Discovery Network and teaches children about Newton's laws of motion through six interactive stations.
Lenore Shoults, Assistant Director for the ASU Museum, says and exhibit like this is very beneficial to the children in the Region 8 area. "Not only will kids learn about the laws of motion, but they are going to get to learn about it in a hands on way. So, it's different if somebody stands in the front and says these are the laws of motion as opposed to when they get to discover that for themselves. This hands on exhibit is going to teach visitors about Newton's Laws of motion and how they apply to real world situations."
The stations found in Newton's Corner include racing sailboats, racing cars and even propelling through water. Lenore says the stations are fun for children while providing them with a solid foundation for certain scientific principles. "When kids actually learn for themselves through hands on interaction, they store that information and later as the science principals become sophisticated they build on that knowledge. And when the kids come here they don't actually realize that they are learning. They're coming and they're playing, but the way the components are established, it actually layers their knowledge for the future and they're able to understand scientific principles that they are going to be able to apply in middle school, high school, college and hopefully in careers beyond that."
The second interactive exhibit deals with Nano Technology. Jill Kary, Education Coordinator for the ASU Museum, says the Nano Technology lab gives children examples of what happens to something at the nano level. "What children will learn is how things work when they are way down on the nano scale. Nano scale is one billionth of something. And when something is taken down that small to it's original size things change, sometimes the behavior completely. These are a lot of hands on components that children can use to learn what happens to different things. For instance, gold. Gold will change it's color and it can also be added to liquid to be inserted into someone's blood stream and it will cure cancer."
Paragould resident Jason Linam and his 8-year-old daughter Molly decided to visit the ASU Museum on Molly's spring break. "We found they were having a Nano Technology exhibit. We didn't know about it until we got here, but it's a hands on exhibit for children. I think it's great. You know a lot of times when you come to the museum you expect to see stuffed animals and old artifacts, but this is actually something that's new and hands on that the children can get involved with."
Jill says every child that has gone through the Nano Technology exhibit has had a good time. "The kids are so excited. To get to actually touch something at the museum and do things with their hands and use that way to learn. They get to play doctor, put on a costume and work in a lab. Children come out of here smiling, happy and their head is full of new things."
Jason says visiting the new exhibits at the ASU museum is something he would recommend to parents and teachers. "If you've got kids and you're looking for a way to spend the afternoon this is a great thing to do. Anything you can get involved with instead of just staring at and reading about would be advantageous, I think."
Both Newton's Corner and the Nano Technology exhibit are funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The Nano Technology exhibit will be available through June and Newton's Corner through October.
The Newton's Corner exhibit will open on March 26th, and are open to the public.
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