Cambridge Science Centre


Exhibits for the little ones

Written on 22 Apr 2013 in Blog

A big problem in designing a science centre is height - people come in many different sizes, so it is hard to make an exhibit at the right level to let a 4 year old use it comfortably whilst not giving an adult a bad back.

We have our main exhibits tables, which are aimed at the 6-adult age range, and text panels aimed at teenagers and adults. But what about the little ones? Plus it is frustrating to see an older sister having to leave the Centre because her younger brother is a bit bored.

Within the exhibit team this challenge has made us think about how we make use of the side of our exhibit module tables. Over the last week we have started to install some new exhibits low down on the sides of our tables, which is an ideal place for younger children to explore. These have been specifically designed to provide simple and fun science interactions for this age group, and those a bit older.

So far we have installed:
- A box which is seems to be black until you lift up a flap to find out it is white inside
- Convex and concave mirrors to show the effects of bending mirrors
- A load of compasses and a magnet with which to move them
- Plastic that changes colour with heat, so you can draw with the heat from your fingers.

And coming soon we should have:
- Materials of different densities
- Coloured shadows

They are relatively simple, both conceptually and to construct, but hopefully fascinating especially to younger children. There are many more things I would like to put in these slots, which are interactive, or just interesting to look at. Please provide us with any feedback and suggestions, as they are very welcome. Check out our flickr set of our exhibits here

So next time you visit the centre with someone under 5, look down, you might find more than you were expecting!