The other night I went to an ‘Invent to Learn’ workshop at my daughter’s primary school, run by Dr. Gary Stager who lives in the LA. I decided to blog it here because I liked his idea of “learning by doing” and the connections that can be made with a studio model in media. From Gary’s http://www.inventtolearn.com/ website:
Using technology to make, repair, or customize the things we need brings engineering, design, and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.
Gary introduced the parents and children to Sylvia (now 12) who got involved with the maker movement (on wikipedia) 4 years ago and her show ‘Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show’. – sylivashow.com.
At the workshop I learnt about some great initiatives for children to invent and make things which can be used separately or crossed over with each other. Most of these are initiatives out of universities, research centres and not-for-profit groups. These include:
Squishy Circuits – “The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough.”
Pro Bot + Thymio – “an affordable educational robot” – “Thymio II is an open hardware and open source project, with its design available under a creative commons license and its source code and programming environment available as LGPL.”
Makey Makey – from about on the makey makey website – “We believe that everyone is creative, inventive, and imaginative. We believe that everyone can create the future and change the world. So we have dedicated our lives to making easy-to-use invention kits.”
MaKey MaKey – An Invention Kit for Everyone from jay silver on Vimeo.
Hummingbird – “The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is a spin-off product of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab.”
Turtle Art – “TurtleArt lets you make images with your computer. The Turtle follows a sequence of commands. You specify the sequence by snapping together puzzle like blocks.”
Arduino – (from introduction page) – “Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.”
– “LEGO® Education WeDo is a fantastic, simple-to-use cross-curricular tool that enables students to learn, construct and then bring their models to life using intuitive drag-and-drop software.”
Scratch – “With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.”
Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager