What can babies really understand? How do toddlers absorb everything around them? Why is learning before kindergarten so important? Big things are happening in little kids' brains and bodies!
A disconnect exists between what science tells us about the developmental needs of children ages 0–5 and what society does to support that development. Considerable evidence indicates that the public and policymakers do not appreciate the crucial issues underlying early childhood development; nor does either group know how best to incorporate science into public policy. Wonder Years: The Science of Early Childhood Development is a unique and collaborative project about the big things that happen in little brains.
The exhibition highlights what is happening in early development, including some things that babies can do better than adults! Museum visitors explore how young children learn from the world around them, and how scientists learn about children's development. Wonder Years is designed for teens and adults, parents and non-parents alike, and includes a quiz show, early literacy nook, and pretend "kitchen" where visitors of all ages can enjoy learning about the development of young children.
Related programming continues conversations around this important topic. These conversations help to ensure that all children benefit from the growing body of knowledge about the science of early childhood development and get the best start in life.
Wonder Years is a partnership of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota, and Public Agenda. The National Science Foundation provides funding for the Wonder Years project with additional funding for expanded programming from the F.R. Bigelow Foundation and Grotto Foundation.
Wonder Years is funded by the National Science Foundation.