I-LABS Booth Dazzles Children and Parents at the 2012 Seattle Science Festival

Over 30,000 children and families attended the Seattle Science Festival at Seattle Center on June 2, 2012. Throughout the day, the I-LABS booth was mobbed by thousands of kids and families who got dirty, wet, sticky, and smart in the name of science.

The booth featured three interactive and hands-on exhibits that helped families and children learn more about how babies learn and how important early learning is.

Exhibit 1 included a touch screen investigating how infant brains learn language. Exhibit 2 involved a live interaction showing how babies learn from the people in their environment. Exhibit 3 gave young children unique ways 'play' with their brains:

  • Sensory table buckets with compressed brain sponges in water showing how brains 'absorb'
  • Sensory table buckets with 'oobleck' or 'gak' illustrating plasticity and how brains react to stress and adverse childhood experiences
  • Colored clay and brain forms showing how our brains are moldable
  • Coloring pages highlighting the areas of the brain and their functions

Parents raved about the creative use of the metaphors to help them and their children understand brains and how they work. Even Washington's Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) Randy Dorn popped by for a visit.