Posts tagged with "hands-on learning"

Wonderworks image by Cher Murphy PR for 360 Magazine

WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens

After a Year of Pandemic Closure, WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens with a New Exhibit

The moment so many people have patiently waited for is here. WonderWorks Syracuse will officially reopen on March 26, 2021. While Canyon Climb ropes course re-opened in August 2020, WonderWorks has been closed for nearly a year due to the pandemic. With the reopening, WonderWorks will have new rules and covid safety measures to help keep people safe and socially distanced.

“We are thrilled to be able to get our doors back open and welcome people to come on in,” says Nicole Montgomery, general manager of WonderWorks Syracuse. “We know that people are ready to get out and do things, and we offer a great mix of fun and educational activities, with something for everyone in the family.”

Some of the changes that patrons can expect when visiting WonderWorks Syracuse include:

  • Being cashless. Be sure to bring an electronic form of payment or purchase your tickets online ahead of time because WonderWorks will no longer be accepting cash.
  • WonderWorks is reopening on a reservation basis only, which will keep its capacity to 50 people. It will only be allowing 50 people inside every 30 minutes.
  • The hours will be limited to start with, which is currently noon–6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be available for advanced sale soon.
  • There will be COVID measures taken, such as staff health screenings and guest temperature checks before entering. Additionally, guests over the age of two must wear a face covering and everyone must adhere to social distancing of six feet.
  • WonderWorks is providing sanitizer stations throughout.

“Come on out and have some fun,” added Montgomery. “We have a lot to offer, including ropes courses, laser tag, rides, science exhibits and more.”

WonderWorks reopens with its newest exhibit that incorporates student artists. CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery held its first annual contest, the winning masterpieces will be on display for a year.

WonderWorks ropes course, called Canyon Climb, is the world’s largest suspended indoor ropes course. It offers three levels and 81 obstacles. Additional attractions include laser tag, where people can have fun strapping on a laser tag vest and competing in a fast-paced, action-packed battle of laser tag, a 4D XD motion theater, and various fun and educational zones. The zones focus on weather, light and sound, physical challenges, space discovery, imagination and art.

WonderWorks Syracuse recently launched some educational programs, including virtual learning labs and homeschool days. It also offers group rates, scouting programs, sensory days, birthday parties and corporate events.

To see a full list of COVID-19 safety measures being taken, visit the site.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the site.

For information on the exhibit, CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery, visit their website.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines both education and entertainment into one venue. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71 mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment and experience zero gravity in our Astronaut Training Gyro. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit their website and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Back to College by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Emily Green Reinvents Post-Pandemic Education

The COVID-19 pandemic forced students, teachers, and parents to change their ways of doing things almost overnight as schools closed and learning went online. The situation left everyone scrambling – and often grumbling about the limited learning taking place under this hasty reinvention of how schools operate.

But, despite all the downsides, could this moment of school upheaval also be an opportunity to transform the nation’s education system into something better?

In her new book, School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World, author Emily Greene makes the case for just such a transformation as she shares her experiences with her three children and explores ways to encourage curiosity and creativity to create to a radical change in how we approach teaching and learning.

Greene writes: “It often takes a seismic disruption to change the way things have always been done. Before the pandemic, I jokingly said that it would take a cataclysmic world event, like an alien invasion, to truly disrupt education. While I could have never predicted this worldwide pandemic, its absolute disruption of school will change education forever and be studied in the history books for generations to come.”

In this book, readers will learn:

  • How to unlearn the current education system, setting the stage for replacing its outdated methods with creative new ideas that can work better.
  • Why it’s important to embrace the forgotten wonder of unscheduled time, when children can do what they like free from the constraints of school or outside planned activities.
  • How to cultivate children’s natural curiosity, which can lead to limitless opportunities for learning.
  • Why hands-on activities, such as drawing a picture or baking a pie, are critical supplements to the learning that takes place through reading a book or staring at words on a screen.
  • How to help your children follow their heart and find purpose and passion in the world.

About Emily Greene

Emily Greene is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.

General Information

Title: School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World

Author: Emily Greene

Genre: Education, Parenting

ISBN-10: 1642252433

ISBN-13: 978-1642252439

Pages: 248                                    

Publisher: Advantage Media Group

analysis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Sphere We Go! STEM Exhibit

WonderWorks Orlando Unveils New STEM Exhibit Explaining Earth’s Spheres: Sphere We Go!

WonderWorks Orlando announces the opening of a new exhibit focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The new exhibit topic will focus on the layers of the Earth’s spheres and is scheduled to open March 11, 2021.

“Earth is a topic that most people love to learn about, so we are excited about this new exhibit,” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “This will give families a fun way to learn about this STEM topic, whether it’s just for fun or if they are looking for a way to expand upon their child’s formal education.”

The new exhibit will help teach people about the four different layers in Earth’s spheres, including the lithosphere (or geosphere), hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. In addition to learning about each layer, the exhibit also explains how the four layers interact with each other. The new exhibit will include images and content to read. There is also a 3D hologram high-definition video–no special glasses required–that provides a visual explanation of the layers and how they interact, to enhance the viewing experience.

STEM education, according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, focuses on teaching children real-world applications that help develop a variety of skill sets. Some of the skills children gain through STEM education include technology literacy, problem solving, creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and being innovative. Finding ways to introduce them to STEM topics in a fun way can help to get them more interested.

“We look forward to helping families learn more about the spheres that make up Earth,” added Wayne. “We continue in our mission of making learning fun!”

To choose the name for the new poll, WonderWorks held a poll asking people to choose from three names. Employees and social media users weighed in, with the following being the outcome of the exhibit name poll: Sphere We Go! is the official new name of the exhibit.

  1. Sphere We Go! – 51% of the vote
  2. Get Outta Sphere! – 38%
  3. Sphere Not These Earthly Layers! – 11%

Additional onsite and community programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, FLO-Art Florida Youth Art Gallery, science fair partnerships, online science information and worksheets and a homeschool program. WonderWorks Orlando also offers various STEM activities, including virtual learning labs, onsite exhibits, activities and more.

To learn more about the programs offered at WonderWorks Orlando, visit the site.

Due to a county-wide mask restriction in Orlando, guests will need to bring one with them. WonderWorks does also have some for sale onsite. WonderWorks has implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including reduced capacity and hours, enhanced cleaning efforts, social distancing measures, hand sanitizer stations, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules before their visit on the webpage devoted to COVID-19.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, the upside-down adventure, is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and exciting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet, the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to turn right side up. There are three floors of nonstop “edu-tainment,” with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit the site.

remote learning illustration by Kaelen Felix

Remote Learning Tips for Parents

While remote learning can negatively impact motivation, engagement, and curiosity, there are ways to help stressed out students.

Emily Greene suggests 5 things that parents can proactively do at home to help their kids better manage the challenges of the disruption to schooling, and for some, the partial return to in-person learning.

As she writes in her book, “School, Disrupted”, parents can help to uplift and inspire their kids by trying these things, which in turn will also help teachers!

1) Make sure your child has free time/down time every day. This is necessary to activate an important brain network called the Default Mode Network (DMN). Scientists know that the DMN is intricately tied to curiosity, creativity, and imagination which can help boost engagement and motivation in these challenging times.

2) Curate their curiosity. Asking questions stimulates curiosity, which is directly tied to engagement and joy in learning.  Parents can help jostle our children out of the “circle the correct choice” mindset and make way for open-ended questions that are vital to learning. As parents, we can be too quick to provide advice, opinions, and answers. To foster curiosity, try to hold back, ask questions, and listen. In an article for the Harvard Educational Review, Susan Engel of Williams College argues for the promotion of curiosity in schools, calling for a “shift in the way we see the traditional role of a teacher from one who answers questions to one who elicits them.”  Let this be your guiding principle–eliciting questions will uncover a treasure trove of curiosity.

3) Encourage kids to get hands-on. Ask them what they want to create, make, or build. Doing activities that are off the computer and are hands-on engage them in learning in new ways. Other ways to get hands-on are to go outside. Or, take a virtual field trip!

4) As parents, we can also help teachers come up with ideas to integrate more fun and engagement into Zoom-based lessons. Teachers have a tough job right now trying to engage both in-person and remote learners. Sharing Zoom Boosters, (found in Emily’s book) shows that you care and are engaged in being part of the solution.

5) Encourage your child to get creative with their assignments–for example, by self-advocating for choice in projects. If the teacher plans to give a multiple-choice unit test, urge your child to ask if they can make a poster, a brochure, or a podcast covering the subject matter instead. If they are uninspired by the list of writing prompts for a class paper, encourage them to ask the teacher about selecting a personalized prompt that they are more excited to write about. When they are given an assignment, encourage them to ask the teacher, “Can I make a short film for my final? Can I write a short story? Can I put on a play? Can I build a contraption that would demonstrate this principle of physics?” The worst that can happen is the teacher says no—but more often than not, teachers appreciate the initiative because they know it shows a passion for learning during a very tough time due to the pandemic.

Emily Greene (www.emilygreene.com) is author of School, Disrupted: Rediscovering the Joy of Learning in a Pandemic-Stricken World in which she shares her experience educating her children inside and outside of traditional schools. She developed the Kiddovate program, working with hundreds of teachers and students. She also is cofounder of VIVA Creative, where she and her team create live and digital experiences. When the pandemic shut down the event industry, Greene co-led VIVA in rethinking how to bring people together in a global pandemic. In 2020, she received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award recognizing innovation during adversity.