This year we made an international connection with academics and students at UManresa in Spain. Associate professor Dr. Gabriel Lemkow-Tovías from UManresa was my guide, and is a key member of staff working on their early childhood science centre Lab 0-6. Lab 0-6 is a ‘discovery centre’ based in the university where children aged 0-6 can come and immerse themselves in a number of activities and contexts designed to stimulate scientific investigation, observation and conclusions in young children. They developed this facility because they felt that interactive activities for this age group were lacking.
“Science is a tool for understanding the world
We aim to stimulate the natural curiosity of children and encourage their intervention reasoned reality.”
As a result of this specialist work, colleagues at Lab 0-6 were invited to collaborate on designing a space for young children in the natural history museum in Barcelona; Museo Blau. This space is similar in creating a warm and free environment for young children to explore scientific concepts and ideas, to observe, to experiment and to question. Staff said that one of the most important features of this space was to:
“Leave children with questions. Questions stimulate further exploration, answers provide an end point.“
At EdLab we are committed to creating links with all kinds of professionals and communities concerned with innovative and creative education. This year we were able to facilitate a Skype meeting between students on our EdLab unit and academics at LAB 0-6. During this meeting students could ask questions and take a virtual tour of the facility. It is hoped that in the future we will be able to create simultaneous projects between students in Manchester and students at UManresa, developing, observing and comparing educational activities for EYFS children.
Visiting the Community Learning festival
In returning the visit, Gabriel will be coming to our Community Learning Festival held in Brooks Building Hulme from the 25th to the 27th of July. The Community Learning Festival, now in its second year, aspires to bring together the richness of our local community with the skills and facilities from within the university. There will be a full programme of free workshops and activities over the three days, aimed at all ages.
Gabriel will also be delivering a talk as part of the festival from 4-5.30pm on Wednesday the 26th of July in the Bio Social Lab, Brooks Building:
More Places and Spaces
You may also be interested in Escola Itaca which is a primary schoool in Manresa entirely based in project-based learning, and the science museum in Barcelona, Cosmocaixa, where they have a similar project-based learning context called Creactivity.