MILWAUKEE — Discovery World is reopening exhibits and expanding its educational opportunities for the summer.
“We have a lot of fun things going on. We have a lot of new camps going on as well. And our lab here, the Kohl's Design It Lab, will open in summer for camps,” says Meghan Langmyer, Discovery World Education Supervisor.
Langmyer and her coworkers connected with 16,000 students this past year, offering virtual field trips and at-home activity kits.
Even though Discovery World has had great success with virtual learning, they are excited to be reopening exhibits and, eventually, its Kohl's Design It Lab to the general public in the fall.
"We really like to think about things differently in this space. We like to encourage the design-thinking process. Design is really about problem-solving. Whether it be a better world for tomorrow or a new pair of headphones. It's all design,” Langmyer said.
They have 70 buckets with recycled material from area business, ready to be reused. The lab is full of inspiration, including a wall of upcycled artwork from material found on Lake Michigan beaches.
“This one right here is resembled around a rusty crayfish and it's made out of 412 pieces of plastic all found at Atwater Beach,” Langmyer said.
This invasive species of the Great Lakes hangs next to two others: a Quagga Muscle and Chinese Mitten Crab, both made from fireworks, foam and bottle caps.
“A lot of times you think you're throwing something away, sometimes it ends up in our lake. And our lake is where we get our fresh drinking water from too, so we need to be a little more conscious about where those things are going,” Langmyer said.
Langmyer says it isn't hard to reuse trash or recyclables to create new toys or upcycled art. She's ready for kids to be imaginative in the lab again.
“This lab is able to create some creative confidence in students. Instead of hearing the phrases 'I can't do that', 'I don't have the materials to do that,' we are not only able to give kids access to things, but also give them access to unlock things inside their brains to say, 'you know what, I can do this, I've got this inside me, I've got that confidence now,'” Langmyer said.
Discovery World is reopening many exhibits on Saturday, June 5, including the flight simulator, Bed of Nails, and City of Freshwater. It also has openings for its summer camps and still offers many at-home activities online.