Thinkery is Austin’s home for “why” and “how.” A place where science and families play side by side. Where people connect with ideas by doing, making and experiencing. It’s a foundry for a new generation of innovators and creative problem solvers. And it’s a heck of a good time. Our Mission is to create innovative learning experiences that equip and inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers.
Each volunteer would help lead facilitated activity stations in our galleries. Below is a list of some special days where the activities will be focused on specific topics, or are our busiest times.
Engineering Day – 2/17/18
NanoDays - 3/24/18
Earth Day & Space Day – 4/21/18
Scratch Day – 5/13/18
This is an on-going need that we seek to fill weekly. In order to get involved, please visit https://thinkeryaustin.org/volunteer/ to fill out an application and learn about our upcoming orientation sessions and background check requirements.
Thinkery offers hands-on, inquiry-based, learner-driven STEAM learning experiences for children and families. Our staff and volunteers are critical to facilitating this learning.
Hands-on: Learners build, create, and manipulate using real tools and materials.
Example: Instead of watching a video describing the parts of a plant, learners use scissors, tweezers, and scalpels to dissect a flower and discover what is inside.
Inquiry-based: Learners have the opportunity to explore questions that are meaningful or interesting to them. Rather than an activity ending with an answer, learners remain curious and are inspired to continue asking and exploring more questions.
Example: A table has been set up with a variety of spinning tops. One child wonders, “how quickly can I make it spin?” Another child wonders, “how long can I make it spin?” As they iterate designs to accomplish their individual goals, they might have more questions they want to explore, such as “how does the size of the spindle affect how the top spins? How does my material choice make a difference (construction paper, cardboard, plastic)?”
Learner-driven: Learners have free choice to explore what interests them, and to use materials in unexpected (but still safe!) ways.
Centered around the spontaneous process of learning.
This means our visitors have free choice to learn about topics that interest them and to learn at their own pace.
We encourage visitors to explore, experiment, and play with exhibits and materials that interest them. Thinkery staff act as facilitators or guides during the learning process. We ask questions and pose challenges that stimulate deeper thinking.