PacSci Perspectives

Proton Preschool: Inspiring Our Littlest Learners

by | Apr 12, 2016

At age three, Rick Bresnahan loves many things: pouring liquids to the tippy top of test tubes, experimenting with squishy dough circuits that glow, and singing with Proton Preschool classmates about Herman the Worm. Most of all, he loves his big sister Dorothy, who graduated from Proton Preschool last year.

When Dorothy enrolled in Proton Preschool, she was already a veteran of several other schools. Her dad, Jake Bresnahan, says: “For me, trained as a scientist, I looked at Proton Preschool and saw a big difference in how they teach. They do a lot of work on how to approach a problem. Instead of rote memorization, the kids are learning: How do you get to the answer on your own? They want to try and figure it out themselves first. It’s a trait I like to see.”

Dorothy had a blast with classroom experiments, Live Science Stage shows, and questioning scientists on the exhibit floor. After a science interpreter in our Live Insect Village showed her a hissing cockroach up close, Dorothy talked about it for weeks. In the car after school, she’d tell Rick:  “We made gak (slime) today.” At home, they’d pull out ingredients and start experimenting.

So when it came time for Rick to start preschool, the family chose Proton Preschool again, despite a hefty commute from Kenmore. “When my son comes home from school and says to me—’Dad, Dad, did you know phytoplankton make oxygen; we breathe oxygen’—it shows how much he is being taught,” Bresnahan says. “Teacher Kate and Teacher Megan bring the curriculum to life.”

Learn more about Proton Preschool.

Launched under the arches in downtown Seattle in January 2015, Proton Preschool joins our award-winning Polliwog Preschool (at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center in Bellevue) in inspiring early learners with the wonders of science at a critical age that leverages children’s natural curiosity.