In the Early Education Center (EEC), play is paramount to learning, and students now have several new ways to pique their curiosity and captivate their attention. “As part of our Reggio-inspired curriculum, we strongly believe that our students learn best through hands-on, experiential learning,” said EEC Director Betsy Quirin. “We recognize the importance of creating a relationship-driven atmosphere where our students can connect with each other, materials in the classroom, and their environment.” Thanks to the efforts of a generous donor, two new STEAM-focused centers have debuted, to the thrill of students and teachers alike.

First encountering the EEC’s new wind tunnel, Jack Bischoff ’36 exclaimed to his teacher, “This. is. Amazing. Mrs. Carter!” and his classmates enthusiastically agreed! “The wind tunnel is a truly unique experience where our students can explore the movement and pressure of air, object weight, and force,” noted Quirin. “It can transition to different angles to allow for even more experimentation, and the children love exploring the cause and effect relationship of placing different objects inside of the tunnel to see the exciting results!” All kinds of appropriate objects have safely been launched airborne, inspiring numerous investigations in the classroom.

The addition of light laboratories for each EEC grade level has also encouraged new understandings of color, with students leading their own color mixing explorations. “The children are fascinated with experimenting with not just color mixing but also object translucency and manipulation,” Quirin pointed out. “We love how this hands-on, exploratory tool allows our students to transform and create.”

Key in fostering experiential play, the wind tunnel and light laboratories will offer students hours of enrichment and learning. Just as importantly, these centers are sparking new ways for young minds to understand the scientific and creative underpinnings of life. What an amazing gift, indeed.