Kentucky Science Center is bringing its traveling early childhood experience to another Kentucky library. Science in Play2Go, a miniature version of the Kentucky Science Center’s signature Science in Play exhibit, will open at the Cold Spring Branch of the Campbell County Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 3.
Designed specifically for children ages 8 and under, Science in Play2Go is built around the twin concepts of open-ended play and “loose parts” – materials that can be reimagined in countless ways – that allow children to naturally develop 21st-century learning and STEAM skills.
Science in Play2Go is provided free of charge to communities and participating libraries thanks to the support and partnership of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA).
The traveling exhibit is open to the community during normal library hours. Field trips and group visits to Science in Play2Go are encouraged; groups, including schools and local community centers, may contact the library directly to arrange a visit. Science in Play2Go is designed to serve as a resource to the community, providing at-home activities for parents and caregivers to do science with children and tools to help facilitate early-childhood learning.
In its first five years of operation, Science in Play2Go welcomed over 172,000 visitors with residencies in 17 Kentucky counties: Bath, Boone, Boyle, Johnson, Kenton, Laurel, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Muhlenberg, Oldham, Scott, Trimble, Warren and Woodford. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many county libraries were closed to the public, Science in Play2Go transitioned into Kentucky malls, with locations in Louisville’s Mall St. Matthews and Bowling Green’s Greenwood Mall.
The traveling exhibit returned to public libraries in early 2022. Campbell County is the exhibit’s fifth location this year, with additional residencies planned into 2023.
The elements of the exhibit present in Campbell County – including creating your own rollercoaster, engineering with big blocks in Build Your World, or visiting the Shapes and Stuff Store – encourage open-ended thought, collaboration and creativity. These fundamental skills provide the foundation for future learning.
Science in Play2Go’s impact is clear. Surveys conducted in the traveling exhibit’s first year found that an average of 89% of parents and caregivers report “feeling more confident in my ability to nurture my child’s science learning” after visiting Science in Play2Go; 91% believe that Science in Play2Go helps them “think of new ways to encourage learning at home”; and 95% report it helps them “extend learning by asking my child questions and encourage new skills.”
The Cold Spring Branch of the Campbell County Public Library is located at 3920 Alexandria Pike in Cold Spring. The library’s Science in Play2Go experience is available to the public from Saturday, Sept. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 27. For more information, please visit the Campbell County Public Library’s website at cc-pl.org/play2go or call 859-781-6166.
Campbell County Public Library