Local Kids get to Grips with Kids Park
A group of children from St Vincent’s Primary School are helping staff from Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum to develop exhibits for the new Kids’ Park opening in the Eastside City Park in 2013.
In two special workshop sessions being held at St Vincent’s School, Thinktank staff and artists from Cantoo are working with the school to explore kids’ responses to the new exhibits and let the youngsters have their say on the design of the new outdoor space.
Kids’ Park will be a 200 sq m vibrant and safe outdoor play area within the new 8-acre Birmingham City Park. The play area will feature 14 hands-on exhibits, designed to encourage under 7s and their families to explore science whilst having fun outdoors. The exhibits will encourage children to learn about sound, light, touch and movement. Kids Park is supported by a number of funders including Wellcome Trust, Millennium Point Trust and Veolia Environmental Trust, who have awarded a grant of £38,500 through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Janine Eason, Director of Exhibitions and Learning at Thinktank comments, “Kids’ Park will provide a much needed play area for the thousands of families living in the dense local housing surrounding Thinktank, as well as for the millions of families who visit Birmingham every year. We hope that it will encourage children to think about science from a young age, and encourage families to visit Thinktank and take part in further science and heritage activities.”
The Veolia Environmental Trust’s Senior Project Manager, Maria Case, adds, “It’s great to see that the children are getting involved in the design of this exciting project. I look forward to seeing them using and enjoying the Kids’ Park’s many features, which will give them the chance to learn about science and the world around them.”
The Kids’ Park outdoor play space will include; a colour spectrum umbrella casting pools of coloured light onto visitors; a turntable allowing children to experiment with rotation, flinging out or holding in their arms or legs; and wobble dishes, which enable children to do simple experiments with movement, momentum and co-operation. One of the main features of the Park will be the ‘Feely Wall’, which explores different textures and materials. It is the Feely Wall that the children from St Vincent’s School will be helping artists from Cantoo to develop through these workshops sessions. The schoolchildren will also have the chance to truly ‘leave their mark’ on the wall, with casts of their handprints featuring in the exhibit.
Kids’ Park will be adjacent to, but separate from, the new Science Garden being constructed directly outside Thinktank. Businesses and individuals interested in getting involved in these high profile projects can visit www.thinktank.ac/development