The imagination of a child is nearly limitless and while some children dream of the cosmos, others pedal their way towards adventure. A wonderland of inspiration exists between the pages of a book where vibrant landscapes and characters make an impression in their young minds forever. In this third segment of our series on the @Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners, take a journey with us through the Navigation Pod, following along on the adventures children will take around the world and into their wildest fantasies, experiencing ever changing landscapes and the depths of space.

"Science is rapidly expanding our understanding of the role of the environments, where children are born, live, learn and grow, on their development."

— World Health Organization



The earth exhibit introduces children to our world and the magic within it,as they explore and discover far away lands and watch the seasons change. From feeling the heat of a volcano to learning about the properties of cold environments with glaciers, children learn to understand the world around them and the forces of nature responsible for shaping it. They discover the power of winds as they sail their boats down a track towards the wind turbines. The forces of nature are placed in the palm of student’s hands, giving them the opportunity to make mountains of their own.

"It has been well researched that children need nature for the healthy development of their senses, and therefore, for learning and creativity."



To infinity and beyond! Children naturally love learning about the solar system. The sun, moon, stars and planets are fascinating to both small children who see stars twinkle in the night sky at night and older children who are beginning to ask harder questions such as “are there other planets with life?” or “are there other solar systems like ours?” The space experience encourages children’s imaginations to float from one orbit to another as they travel the galaxy inside a rocketship. Constellations appear on the milky way magnetic wall as children investigate the planets through telescopes, dreaming of the cosmos.

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton



Preschoolers know many things they didn’t know as babies. While they may not be ready to read a book cover to cover, if they’ve been read to a lot, they know a lot about reading, important building blocks toward the day when they’ll read by themselves. Play encourages children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. In fantasy play, children are able to use abstract and representational thinking, allowing a bowl to become a hat, an empty pot to become a steamy bowl of soup, and a pile of pillows to become a boiling lava flow. Charismatic characters and vibrant landscapes are awakened in the wonderland experience with surprises around every corner, helping children to freely express themselves.



Are we there yet? Travel is educational at all ages, and when children realize what it takes to move around and travel independently, it boosts their self-esteem and it creates a certain level of confidence that’s very important for them mental and social development. The beauty of these treks is that children are also learning geography. Exploring facts such as: paddling down the river with their passport to adventure and mapping their route in a travel journal. They take to the skies inside a flight simulator or stay grounded as they build a pedal car to race friends towards adventure. Children can also learn geography facts like: What is the closest ocean to our location? Which continent are we visiting? Once your kids realize that there’s so much of this exciting world that they haven’t seen, they will be hungry to explore more and more!