Situated in the historical halls of Teachers College, Hollingworth Preschool is dedicated to embracing each child’s sense of wonder, and their Science Saturday event in the Smith Learning Theater this past March was no exception. Drawing inspiration from contemporary artists such as Kara Walker and Pipilotti Rist who work with shadow and light, Science Saturday offered children a highly sensory and aesthetic experience exploring the scientific concepts of light, color, phosphorescence, and shadow.
"What we hope the children will take away from Science Saturday harkens back to one of our core beliefs at Hollingworth, that we're sparking inquiry," says Hollingworth director Heather Pinedo-Burns. Pinedo-Burns has been at Hollingworth since 2003 and received her Doctorate of Education from Teachers College in the Curriculum and Teaching department. Her research interests include early childhood, aesthetics, and wonder, which surely helped contribute to the design and success of this year’s Science Saturday.
The event included an open playground of activities, from a glow in the dark room to a shadow wall to sensory tables full of feathers. Children were free to travel and play wherever they wanted within the space. For a morning, the Learning Theater transformed into an aesthetic, sensory science museum sure to inspire a sense of wonder in all who participated. In her hope that participants left with more questions than answers, Pinedo-Burns hopes to instill a desire for lifelong learning in children that perhaps, like the glow in the dark bread dough, was sparked at Science Saturday.