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Kentucky Science Center Another One to Add to Your Class-Trip List

I blogged earlier about museums and libraries tackling early-childhood education, but I've just uncovered a super-cool add to the list that may be worthy of a class trip if you reside in the middle of the country.

The Kentucky Science Center in Louisville is raising $3.3 million to overhaul the 12,000-square-foot KidZone which will emphasize math, literacy and science. It's aimed, in part, toward area kindergarteners—two-thirds of whom don't start school having mastered shapes, letters, numbers, and telling right from left, according to the The Courier-Journal.

"KidZone engages students in science and math, while fostering problem-solving and collaboration—two skills integral in the development of next-generation learners," said Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Donna Hargens, who has helped the center develop its early childhood education efforts, and talked to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The center is being designed in part by the Governor's Office of Early Childhood, Community Coordinated Child Care, Jefferson County Public Schools, the Louisville Catholic Archdiocese, and groups that cater to special-needs children. It will include "Airways," a 135-foot maze of pressurized transparent tubes carrying scarves and balls as well as a magnet wall and 100 enormous foam blocks.

Other attractions include rope and mirror mazes, a climbing wall, and a kid-sized workshop for science experiments. Children can also build and race boats in a water venue, pretend to race an ambulance, and ride in a spaceship simulator.

But that's not all.

The center "is more than just a gallery," Executive Director Jo Haas told the paper. "It will also anchor and sustain expansive family programming, teacher and instructional leader training" for educators from Louisville and across the state.

KidZone is expected to open in the spring of 2015.

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