9-4-13 The Laker Current (MMCC)

dscn0578_MT. PLEASANT — “I love it here,” Eleanor announces before she dashes off to climb inside a beehive. Ordinarily, that would be a dangerous idea, but here in the Discovery Museum, it’s a way for Eleanor, 8, to learn, completely without realizing she is doing it.

At the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, subtly teaching children is one of the key components of the museum’s philosophy. That’s why there are no informational signs posted about the exhibits.

“Our philosophy was that we wanted open-ended play instead of straight teaching. We wanted to foster an interest in kids,” museum board member Jennifer Fields explains.

The museum creators wanted the exhibits to be a hands-on reflection of the natural world. Instead of instructing children on what they are learning or doing, the exhibits skillfully introduce concepts such as physics and fractions to young kids who simply think that they are playing, in hopes that this knowledge will be triggered later in life.

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