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Google Asia Pacific Blog - A creative playground for kids in Seoul

Creativity and ingenuity have made Korea what it is today. Around the world, innovations from Korea sit in living rooms, laundry rooms, garages and pockets. We would like to think Korea is just getting started, though, so we continue to invest in Korea's innovators. A few weeks ago, we opened the doors to Campus Seoul, our first space for startups in Asia and third in the world.

Today, we're so happy to announce that we're working with the Gwacheon National Science Museum, Korea's largest science museum, through a grant from, to build an indoor makerspace and large outdoor creative playground for kids. Our hope is that these spaces, which will open in October of this year and March of next, respectively, will help spark an interest and foster a lifelong love and passion for science, experimentation and innovation among Korea's next generation of doers.

Plans are still coming together, but we'd like to share a little bit of the vision now, with more to come as the project moves ahead.

Creative playground
With a 2,000 square meter canvas to work from, the outdoor creative playground will be designed to encourage experimentation. Instead of swings and slides, it will feature a variety of objects and materials that children will be able use to create their own structures and effectors.
과학관 항공 사진.JPG
An aerial view of the museum, the creative playground will occupy 2000 square meters by the rocketship
The space, which will open to the public in March 2016, will be built to support independent exploration – for families to bring their kids to for both fun and learning – as well as structured learning through various workshops and programs.

Children's makerspace
Complementing the outdoor playground will be an indoor makerspace for kids, in the museum's 'Idea Factory,' a part of MIT's Fab Lab program, which will open this October. Kitted out with all sorts of tools and materials, this will be a space where children (alongside their parents, if they'd like to join), will be able to participate in a range of workshop programs that we'll also be supporting, ranging from building an electrical circuit with hairpins to learning the basics of coding with Scratch.

A big focus will be programs designed specifically for girls, to help get more young Korean women excited about science and technology. This is especially critical in Korea, where a study from 2013 showed that the number of Korean women working in science and technology is actually on the decline, making up less than 18% of IT workers, and less than 15% of students in relevant degree programs.
Just inside the entrance of the museum, the children's makerspace will be just down the hall

We can't wait to see this new creative play and learning space for kids open up in Korea. We hope it'll help even a few Korean girls and boys discover the same passion for science and creativity that has made Korea (and Google) what it is today.

Posted by John Lee, Country Director, Google Korea

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