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Science Museum of Minnesota Toolkit
The Learning Places youth team from the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) worked with Commonbond Communities to set up what they called, Investigation Stations, in their Advantage Centers.
Advantage Centers are central community centers that are an integral part of every Commonbond Community site. The Investigation Stations were designed to engage youth in science activities through intentionally designed spaces and activities. The activities associated with the stations are appropriate for a wide range of ages, from young children to those in high school.
A Toolkit of Activities that could be facilitated at the Investigation Stations was created and designed by the Learning Places youth team. These activities and the stations or space where they occur were built upon specific frameworks both theoretical and practical that emphasize inquiry. The frameworks put language around the best practices that the Learning Places youth and adult staff have developed to share a playful, engaging approach to develop interest and learn about Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
All Toolkit activities highlight a particular STEM content area that may or may not be explicitly stated, but will be intensely explored. The Toolkit is divided into three categories of activities: