Discovery Lab provides unique learning experiences, exhibits, and programming for children ages middle school and younger, their parents, caregivers, and teachers. Discovery Lab’s hands-on, multidisciplinary approach emphasizes cognitive and process skills while extending and enriching classroom curriculum and Oklahoma Academic Standards to build on children’s interests and strengths and help prepare them for the future. All exhibits and learning experiences engage visitors in process skills, including creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, and communication and collaboration. In addition, Discovery Lab is committed to the integration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), in exhibits and experiences. Best practices embed these concepts and principles into exhibits and programs encouraging children to connect and reconnect arts and sciences in ways that make learning engaging, challenging, and fun.
A Discovery Lab original, featuring tunnels and a 30-foot slide made entirely of packing tape. The innovative design, using principles of suspension bridge engineering, was developed by our staff—led by our resident physicist and executive director, Ray Vandiver, Ph.D. There are six layers of tape in each tunnel adding up to over 16 miles of tape! Kids of all ages love navigating the tunnels and bridges, and are inspired by them to create their own extraordinary things out of ordinary materials.
Inspired by TapeScape in Mankato, Minnesota.
The design, development, and fabrication of The Floor is Lava exhibit experience has been created to engage children ages 2-12 and their caregivers in concepts of physics and engineering as they relate to physical movement. In this exhibit, your child will have the opportunity to practice the process skills of collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and problem solving through strategies integrated into the exhibit’s safe risk experiences.
The Floor is Lava experience includes vault boxes, a warp wall, one-footed wedge walk, a climber into the tape tunnel, rope jungle, an S-ramp, and Imagination Playground. Guests will enjoy learning the concepts of friction, momentum, and motion through imaginative play as they make their way across our Main Hall with the goal of staying off of the floor.
Move It!: An active and surprising exhibition that is always in motion, is inspired by fun kinesthetic experiences and classic physics concepts that come together in ways that delight visitors of all ages.
The Move It! exhibits will help visitors build processing skills critical to today’s world—creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration. Experience weightlessness with pulley chairs, explore the properties of gravity, motion, and trajectory with orbital tables, and create beautiful mathematical works of art with pendulums.
Tinker through Tulsa with city-engineering challenges! Children and their families can collaboratively engineer buildings that they would find around Tulsa using a variety of materials and tools. Once the creation is complete, add it to our map of the Arkansas River and downtown Tulsa!
For our littlest learners, there is a messy trough designed for sensory exploration. Fine motor skills will be developed as they shovel their way through sand, water, and dirt to discover fossils that could be found in local rivers!
An area in the main hall has been designed especially for our youngest Discovery Lab visitors supporting developmentally-based sensory play with a variety of hands-on activities, including blocks, tubes, books, and gravity and balance activities. Appropriate for children on their tummies, crawling, pre-walking and walking, the toddler area at Discovery Lab is a safe and inspirational space dedicated to small children and their families.