Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Carnegie Science Center Opens New Little Learners Exhibit

After more than a month of renovations, the fourth floor space will reopen Saturday with a nature-themed exhibit designed for children 6 and under with new features and revamped favorites.

Photos by Lauren Davidson and the Carnegie Science Center


You’ll want to find the “secret” button.

One of the new features inside the Little Learner Clubhouse, the newly revamped exhibit for the under-6 set at the Carnegie Science Center, is “The Button Wall.”

If you find just the right one (hint: it’s one of the green ones) you’ll set off a stream of bubbles around the corner. Most of the other buttons generate fun sounds, but a few others will jumpstart other special effects around the room, which includes other fun new additions along with many of the same features previously housed in the fourth floor space for early learners.


The new Little Learner Clubhouse, which is funded by PNC’s Grow Up Great early childhood education initiative, is nature-themed; there’s a Gathering Tree in the middle housing educational toys and stuffed vegetables in the Baby Garden designed for crawlers or new walkers. The water play area has been redesigned to take little learners through the natural cycle of water (from a fishing pond complete with fishing poles to a winding stream where kids can race play leaves to a plumbing system with pipes to a bathtub).

“It’s a more natural, calming kind of space,” says Dennis Bateman, senior director of exhibits and experience, who noted the plastic purple panels that used to enclose the space now have a natural wood look to them.


The ball area has been revamped into “The Tomato Stand,” with red and green balls kids can place through conveyors and vacuum tubes that Bateman says help them understand the concept of action/reaction. The yellow submarine, a favorite piece of the exhibit, is still there, located behind a kelp bed.

“Children are born scientists, brimming with natural curiosity, and their preschool years are critical for exploration and brain development,” Ron Baillie, co-director of Carnegie Science Center, said in a statement. “In pre-kindergarten years, children who engage in STEM practices such as asking questions and forming explanations build a strong foundation for skills learned throughout their lives.”

The new exhibit is also ADA-accessible — the water area is more open and the picnic tables that have been added around the Growing Tree have wheelchair-accessible seating.

The exhibit, which closed for the renovations in January, opens to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday.


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in July

Lidia Bastianich Shares Her American Dream in a New Memoir

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein talks to the celebrated chef, restauranteur, television host and author about grandparents, foraging and the plight of refugees seeking a better life in the United States.

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

The Homestead Artist with a Worldwide Reputation

Jesse Best maintains a presence in New York and Tokyo. But, he says, Pittsburgh has been 10 times better to him than any other place.

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Sprout Fund Passes the Torch

50 Pittsburghers to receive $1,000 Legacy Award to carry on the nonprofit’s vision.

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Fired by City Paper — Charlie Deitch Won’t Be Silenced

The former editor of the Pittsburgh alt-weekly is creating his own "more inclusive" publication.

Czechoslovakia was Forged in Pittsburgh

Rick Sebak details how the establishment of the European nation began with a meeting Downtown.

Brick by Brick: Legos Go High Art

Made entirely out of Legos, the sculptures on the display at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Scaife Exhibit Gallery range from the whimsical to the otherworldly.

Mike Chen, Dean of the Chinese Kitchen

The owner of Everyday Noodles looks to encourage more regionally specific Chinese food in Pittsburgh restaurants.

MultiStories: Real Estate – The Machesney Building

Visitors can still ogle the lavish marble and bronze interior crafted to appeal to the original owner's banker and stockbroker tenants.