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October 30, 2019
The WonderLab, which was established in the fall of 2016 as part of the Center for Early Childhood Education, is a space of constant evolution, a space for exploration, planning, and collaboration where learning and creativity happen in a playful manner. Its mission is to create inquiry-based experiences that transform learning.
This year the space has been renovated to incorporate a Green Screen to be used in video projects, an Epic Lego Wall for students to create Lego art and Lego vertical projects, an age-appropriate Makedo Cardboard Station for "messy" construction and prototyping, a Chalkboard Wall for brainstorming and idea visualization, a Snap Circuits wall for controlled discovery of technology via experimentation with circuits, and also cutting-edge technology such as a 3D displayer, Dash and Kibo Robots, Code-a-Pillars and Code&Go.
These tools, along with expert facilitation, allow students to gain a better understanding of cause and effect and problem-solving, which are the building blocks to the design and coding processes. Because of its participatory nature, the WonderLab fosters opportunities for children to "think outside the box" and use their innate curiosity to become innovators, creators, and risk-takers. This shared space allows children to work together and communicate with their peers, providing opportunities to build on each other's ideas and develop the skills of negotiation-a key attribute to becoming an open-minded, caring member of the community. The work that students do in the WonderLab reflects and reinforces the Portrait of a Léman Manhattan Learner.