The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St., has opened the Creative Construction Zone, a new tinkering studio for preK – 3rd grade youth.


Sponsored by The Junior League of Pine Bluff, the zone is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 1–4 p.m. Saturday.


Children can build-play with Imagination Playground Big Blue Blocks featuring “bricks and cylinders, accented with chutes, channels and parts that suggest motion or connectivity,” according to a news release.


“The Big Blue Blocks inspire children to design their own inventions, environments and activities while learning basic engineering and architectural design principles. The Creative Construction Zone also includes interactive construction-influenced playsets to add to the fun, simulation experience,” according to the release.


Recently, the arts center held a reading time in the Wonder Engineer literacy corner, another feature of the Creative Construction Zone. During reading time, youngsters were entertained with stories about construction, engineering, and architecture, while fostering literacy and numeracy, and motor and creative thinking skills through accompanying hands-on activities, according to the release.


Other current displays at the Arts & Science Center include the STEAM STUDIO How People Make Things exhibition, sponsored by Relyance Bank, offering hands-on activities using real factory tools and machines to create objects with four manufacturing processes — molding, cutting, deforming and assembly; 2017 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition featuring 30 artists from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Louisiana; and Five Decades of Collaboration with artwork from ASC’s Permanent Collection by University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff faculty and students.


The Arts & Science Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 1–4 p.m. Gallery admission is free. Support for ASC is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hands-on science exhibitions are offered through ASC’s partnership with Arkansas Discovery Network, a consortium of museums in Arkansas funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. For details and to sign up for upcoming event announcements, visit www.asc701.org.