Three years ago the University of Wollongong’s Early Start opened its doors.
The aim was simple – to help kids reach their potential.
Those involved with Early Start planned to achieve that by undertaking research, training childhood teachers and partnering up with more than 40 childhood education centres in rural and remote communities.
The opening of the university’s Discovery Space was also a major piece of the pie.
The purpose built facility combines fun and education through activities including an inflatable intestine that kids crawl through and explore, and the eight-metre long HMAS Discovery – a toy ship that educates kids about navigation techniques and how ships operate.
More than 250,000 children, parents and carers have explored the Discovery Space since it opened.
Early Start chief executive Anita Kumar said the facility offered an experience like no other.
“We provide a stimulating environment for children to learn through play to develop their skills around creativity, curiosity, collaboration and confidence,” she said.
“We know that authentic experiences stimulate meaningful learning and we are excited to continue to bring these experiences to the wider community.
“Each Discovery Space experience is shaped by evidence-based early childhood research to be educational, fun and interactive.”
Last year more than 75 research papers were also produced by Early Start.
To mark the third anniversary, the Discovery Space embraced a circus theme during the month of May and featured activities including acrobatics, face painting, juggling and rope magic.
An event was also held today to celebrate the milestone.
The Discovery Space is open from 9am to 4pm, Tuesday through to Sunday.
Entry is free for kids less than one-year-old. Concession card holders can enter for $13 and for everyone else the entry cost is $15. The cost is half price from 2pm-4pm.