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Photo courtesy of Providence Children's MuseumAn exciting new exhibit, "ThinkSpace," is opening at the Providence Children's Museum this weekend, devoted entirely to the exploration of spatial thinking. Spatial thinking is part of everyday life; we think spatially all the time -- when tying shoes, reading maps, finding the way to the store, packing a suitcase, doing jigsaw puzzles, climbing rocks and cutting sandwiches in half. Spatial thinkers are architects designing buildings, pilots flying planes, doctors reading x-rays, plumbers installing pipes, bakers decorating cakes, geologists studying fossils and artists painting landscapes. Spatial thinking is a powerful problem-solving tool and a key to kids' interest and success in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. "ThinkSpace" will get visitors thinking spatially with plenty of fun-filled opportunities for interactive play and exploration: you can navigate mystery maze boxes using the senses to guide a ball through hidden twists and turns, and map the path it traveled; create intricate kaleidoscopic designs by layering, ordering and rotating colorful cutout shapes in countless combinations; experiment with shadows and scale, transforming 3-D objects into 2-D representations and creating imaginative shadow scenes; solve the soma cube, a giant 3-D puzzle, by fitting together seven pieces to form a cube; construct domino chain reactions, negotiating spacing and alignment to topple series of spirals and zigzags; explore a nook stocked with books about shape, navigation, and visual and spatial challenges. Opening celebration weekend, Nov. 10 - Nov. 12, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Free with $9 museum admission. Providence Children's Museum, 100 South Street, Providence, RI. www.childrenmuseum.org
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a kindergartner and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.