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.
Animationland is the newest exhibit located in Discovery Lab’s Main Hall. Animationland encourages visitors to explore all aspects of animation from start to finish. Visitors not only get to see how it works they get to create their own stop-motion videos and be involved in them.
In this 2,500 square-foot exhibit there is a bright entryway leading to light tables for tracing and sketching characters as well as an animation studio where guests will learn how to create works of art. There are screens and buttons and they can even become a Foley artist! It is a truly interactive experience.
Backyard Bugs: An Oklahoma Insect Adventure gives visitors a unique larger-than-life perspective of a bug’s world and reveals the fascinating characteristics of our tiny neighbors. Backyard Bugs includes a massive, animatronic praying mantis and a larger-than-life monarch butterfly. There are more than a dozen varieties of live insects and arachnids including a black widow, a scorpion, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, darkling beetles, and hornworms.
There are also hands-on exhibits, including a build-a-bug station, DIY firefly flash patterns, a climbable honeycomb, and more. Backyard Bugs is an immersive exhibit developed by the Oklahoma Museum Network funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.
The WorkShop is a DIY space where children and families can make, play, and design using real stuff—materials, tools, processes, and ideas. Visitors are encouraged to be curious, creative, experimental, and innovative using a variety of recycled, repurposed, and upcycled materials. On every visit to The WorkShop at Discovery Lab, you will find different activities to explore, including themes like sound, electricity, robotics, 3D printing, fabric fusion, and more.
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.