​Scienceworks launches Ground Up, a screen-free space for kids

Scienceworks launches Ground Up, a screen-free space where kids can develop foundational science and tech skills

Ground Up is a new permanent exhibition created to immerse children in an imaginative world of sensory discovery and construction-play and ignite engagement with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Part of a $6 million milestone gallery redevelopment at Scienceworks, Ground Up builds on the early childhood “learn through play” standard set by the Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery at Melbourne Museum.

It is part of a suite of new experiences being developed at Scienceworks. Each is aimed at engaging and preparing the next generation for a future in which an increasing number of jobs will rely on STEM skills of problem solving, hypothesising, experimenting and investigating.

So, what will children experience in the new gallery?

Upon entry, young children and adults will encounter a space that is entirely screen-free. They’ll be greeted by a stunning 7m tall Kinetic Sculpture which introduces the concept of working machines.

By testing and tinkering, this is a space with open-ended and instruction-free experiences that encourage the development of problem-solving skills (not rote learning), emphasising that there is no one ‘right’ way of doing something.

Ground Up is divided into three broad age and activity zones, which each develop skills and provide experiences designed for targeted stages of development. Baby Landscape, Tinkering Zone for toddlers to 3 year-olds and Collaborative Zone, designed for 3 to 5 year-olds.

The new gallery has been created with close community and sector consultation. For two years Museums Victoria collaborated with over 5,000 children and adults, including early childhood education specialists, additional needs experts, teachers and visitors to Little Kids Day In events at Scienceworks.