Thursday, December 8, 2016

Making Education:

Designing Activities for Transformative Learning

The Maker Movement is beginning to transform learning in our schools. Makerspaces are areas designed to support the Maker Movement.  These creative spaces are where students can gather to create, invent, and learn.  This fresh approach emphasizes creation, creativity, teamwork and communication in order to prepare our students with skills for the 21st Century.   Museums, libraries, community centers and after school programs have designed physical and virtual "Makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from cutout designs and webpages, to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.
One example of this movement is an after-school program beginning this year at Pointview Elementary. Pointview students are encouraged to join the tech club to experience wonderful hands on projects where this digital tool becomes part of the learning process. Several teachers including Ben Ashwill and Bill Goldner are leading this discovery adventure for students. Here’s a link to the Club’s introduction:
Another example of this style of learning is occurring at North High School.  North HS Warrior Learning Center now houses a special room called the “Imaginarium”.  In the Imaginarium, students have been creating and making new objects.  Buttons,  bracelets, origami, cutout designs and also learning about virtual reality. Every Monday, this space is open to students from 10:00 to 12:30PM for students to choose a learning activity.

The “Collaboratorium” and “Wonder Room” at Hanby Elementary opened this year with two exciting design challenges for students. The Collaboratorium is a available for students to make use of their science and math skills to solve problems.

The Wonder Room is used by students to create and discover art and technology.
In a recent Collaboratorium lesson, students were presented with a  Math and Science challenge called, The Penny Boat Challenge.  Students used the Engineering Design Process to design a boat for the Hanby Boat Company using aluminum foil that would hold the most cargo possible.

In the Wonder Room students were challenged to use the items in their brown bag to build the tallest structure possible.  Each Hanby class discovered the fun and excitement of building a tall structure with spaghetti and tape with a marshmallow on the top.    

Mrs. Brown, Hanby’s School Principal, is encouraging teachers, parents and community members to use these two new rooms to expand the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) experience for every HANBY student. Students enjoy the learning experience and are looking forward to their next design challenges.

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