I remember when I was a little girl I once received a talking doll for Christmas. Her face would move as she spoke. My father, who was always curious about how things worked, decided to take apart the doll while I slept to satisfy his curiosity. He was determined to understand the inner workings of my new doll. The only problem? He couldn't put the doll back together again. My son has inherited my father's penchant for discovering how things work. For example, as a tiny baby he was fascinated by various locking mechanisms on doors and would spend an inordinate amount of time turning the knob to try and figure out how exactly it locked. Today my little guy loves gadgets and tools and has a collection of Snap Circuits and littleBits. It's this level of curiosity in how things work that causes us to sign him up for STEM activities at libraries but it's also what drove us to make the trek out to to Bethesda to check out KID Museum.
KID Museum is a unique, interactive space that allows elementary and middle school students the opportunity to be curious and creative while engaging them in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities. For President's Day, the museum offered an Open Explore which gave visitors a variety of activities to choose from. My son particularly enjoyed configuring a pneumatic tube system, carving out his name in cardboard using a band saw, catapulting ping pong balls on to piano strings, developing a circuit with a switch and light source, and so much more. In addition, KID also offers one hour facilitated workshops in electronics, woodworking, sewing, etc. We did not sign up for additional workshops since there were plenty of activities to keep the little man active and engaged.
For three hours my son worked independently or with a group of other children he just met to solve a variety of problems. Trial and error was part of the fun. When gadgets were stubborn or tricky, friendly museum staff helped guide the children towards a solution. The museum space is open, light-filled, and inviting. Staff from the front desk and throughout each station were friendly and engaging. The entire experience was worth the drive and my son has already said he cannot wait to go back, so HZM readers, if you have a kiddo who likes to tinker and create, I highly recommend the KID Museum in Bethesda. It's a STEM lover's dream space.