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Friday, May 03, 2019

Children’s Museum’s Genius Station makes science accessible | Houston Chronicle

Allison Bagley, Houston-based writer says, The new Genius Station at the Children’s Museum of Houston was designed for youth, but it’s attracted plenty of adult visitors as well.

The mobile Genius Station at the Children's Museum of Houston offers kids a hands-on experience.
Photo: Children's Museum of Houston
Taking a cue from the Genius Bar at Apple stores and Best Buy’s Geek Squad, the museum received grant funding to pilot their new concept. It’s a mobile unit on wheels that moves the different learning modules housed in the How Does It Work? learning hall.

The Genius Station is staffed with experts in STEM, who each have educational certification. They call themselves the “Geeks.”

The team of Geeks leads demos that change frequently and are designed to engage kids with hands-on learning in topics that include chemistry, physics, earth science and robotics...

A classroom on wheels
The Genius Station is equipped to offer help with homework. Gretchen Schmaltz, the lead Geek, once worked with a student who is home-schooled to make a flashlight. They built it using an LED, coin cell battery, popsicle stick and copper tape. A basic brad functioned as the on-off switch.

Schmaltz was excited when the student returned a few weeks later to ask for help on questions he had gotten wrong on a practice standardized test.