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A first look at The Laboratory, a new kids' learning space in Bucktown

Written by
Samantha Lande

Thanks to people like Neil deGrasse Tyson, science has never been cooler, making it a great time for the debut of Bucktown's The Laboratory, a learning space where kids can take classes on fun topics like how to make a robotic monster. 

Ed and Amy Kang, both National Board Certified Chicago Public School teachers, have taken their individual strengths (him a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a science teacher, her a focus on the language arts) and developed fun and creative classes based on the principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) and many of the standards expected in schools.

The result are courses like "Frozen: Welcome to Arendelle," where kids will do experiments that connect to the beloved movie Frozen, and "Spa Chemist," where kids can learn about fragrances and make their own bath bombs. Most classes will run as a series but there may be individual drop-in classes based on interest. Classes will start on March 7.

The space itself is bright and open with chalkboard and dry-erase walls where doodling is encouraged and high top butcher block tables that encourage teamwork. Kids even get to wear tiny lab coats and see things like a 3D printer in action.

Because the Kangs are still teaching, classes for kids will be weekends only and during CPS school breaks (check out their Hogwarts spring break camp!). Most classes are geared toward elementary school age, but they plan to add toddler classes as they see a desire in the neighborhood.

Don't worry, grown-ups, you won't be left out on the fun: On weekday nights the place will be transformed into a lab for adults with guest instructors teaching everything from "how to bake your own dog treats" to "how to make temporary tattoos with Adobe."

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