Leveling the Playing Field of Early Childhood Education


Countdown to Kindergarten preps children with the skills needed to start school including reading. Photo by Curtis Jolley.

By Curtis Jolley
Public Relations Coordinator

When I was a kid, running races was one of my favorite games to play with friends. “Ready! Set! Go!!!” and off we went. It always frustrated me, though, when someone would get a head start before they said, “Go!!!” And of course, whoever did that always finished first and was declared the winner. Why even finish the race at that point? It was impossible to know who was truly the fastest simply because the playing field was uneven. Continue reading →

Q and A with DJ Vanderwerf, Blade Runner Athlete

By Shannon Johnson
Director of Exhibit Development, Evaluation and Capital Projects

DJ competes in a 5K

DJ competes in a 5K

One of the things I like most about the exhibit Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering is how it tells the stories of real people who design and use adaptive technologies.  Every component in the exhibit tells a story, whether it’s the entry kiosk that features several people including Erik Weihenmayer, an outdoor adventurer who is blind and uses a variety of tools in his outdoor adventurers, or the exhibit component where kids can fade and scratch music using a DJ system controlled by a wheelchair, which was inspired by the collaboration between assistive technology developer John Schimmel and DJ E-Money, who uses a wheelchair.

By hosting Human Plus: Real Lives + Real Engineering, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people in our own community who design and use adaptive equipment.  A great example of this is the wonderful staff at Fillauer Companies, the global leader in the manufacturing, fabrication, development, and education of orthotic and prosthetic solutions in the United States. As a complement exhibit to Human Plus, Fillauer Companies made a hands-on component for Creative Discovery Museum so that children and their families can use three different Continue reading →

Technology is Like Dessert

By Jenette Dean

Early Childhood Manager

children-on-ipad-alamyWhen my children were young, we spent a lot of car rides singing songs, talking, and playing rhyming games. My children are now in college, but they still remember those long road trips where Mom sang with them and played the ABC game.

It seems that everyday I notice younger and younger children who have amazing skills using electronic devices. Though we want our children to develop competence with the technology they will eventually use in everyday life, the amount of time some young children spend looking at and manipulating screens is troublesome. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children under the age of 2 should not have any screen time. Though this approach might seem rigid, it’s based on what is happening in the brain during the first two years of life. Continue reading →

For the Love of the Picky Eater!

Carrie Fitzsimmons

“But, mom! I don’t like peas!”

“Dad, please don’t make me eat my broccoli!”

As memories reel from my childhood, I had two creative parents who encouraged healthy eating habits, but the struggle for them was real! My parents would come up with creative approaches such as, “Eat your dinner, and you can have a cookie.” Or, “Eat this bite for pappaw! Eat this bite for your cousin!” As I ate for everyone in the family tree, it seemed like the three bite rule was going strong in my years as a toddler. You know the one… “Eat three more bites, and you’re done!” Continue reading →

Sometimes the Best Gift for a Child is your Time.

LizaBy: Liza Blair
Arts Manager

Sometimes the best gift for a child is your time.

chocolate-crinkle-cookieA few months ago, my two kids were spending time with their cousin, Danny, who lives in New York and only visits once a year. A rainy day caused a bump in our plans and gave us some extra time to fill. So, we decided to bake cookies.

It was one of the highlights of Danny’s visit.

Danny helped me collect ingredients, measure flour and salt, mix batter, and spoon cookies on to the baking sheet. Once the cookies were in the oven, Continue reading →


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