Spatial Learning as Play (SLaP)
What We Do
The Spatial Learning as Play (SLaP) project studies the processes involved in children's spatial skill development through observing playgroups hosted by the Virginia Discovery Museum and Jamie Jirout's research lab. Based on prior research, children are provided with engaging spatial activities to learn from, while parents have the opportunity to learn more about the process of research and the importance of different cognitive processes.
Spatial skills involve understanding and thinking about space and spatial relations and are important for every day functioning as well as learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) domains. The goals of the Spatial Learning as Play (SLaP) project are twofold:
- First, by observing the playgroups researchers can learn more about children's spatial skill development. Specifically, we can identify the processes involved and better understand how to help support spatial learning.
- Second, based on prior research suggesting that the playful spatial activities are likely to enhance children's spatial skills, we provide children with engaging activities to learn from. Parents also learn more about both the process of research and the importance of different cognitive processes.
The Virginia Discovery Museum and Jamie Jirout's research lab host weekly spatial playgroups on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. The playgroups are a living and growing collaboration including researchers, museum staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, and are informed by current research and contribute to the broader Living Lab initiative.
Learn more about this project by visiting: http://www.jamiejirout.com/updates