Research in Science Education

How will Tinkering/Maker Movement Affect Elementary Science?

Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:54 PM

I am wondering whether as we transition to NGSS, engineering , creative learning and thinking if and how elementary science instruction will change?
Thoughts?

Kathy

Kathy Renfrew
Kathleen Renfrew
33360 Activity Points

Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:16 PM

Great question and fun to think about! My first thought is that elementary science instruction will only change if/when teachers are willing, interested, motivated, and inspired enough to change. Even as a STEM specialist, it has taken me some time to shift my pedagogy to a new way of learning, integrating STEM into a meaningful inquiry based endeavor. I am excited that there are many varied conversations sparking curiosity among practitioners. Hopefully, student interest will drive even subtle shifts in instruction. If students are inspired enough, a shift in instruction may be inevitable, we just need to respect their voice and passions! I find that an easy way to change my instruction is to introduce a resource that facilitates integrating STEM and then we design learning tasks around this motivating resource. This may be backwards; however, it is really how motivation blooms outside of schools. You see something that excites you and you pursue it, you learn how to use it, about it, what it does, and then reflect on how it changes your thinking. Much more on this topic . . .

Brian Whitney
Brian Whitney
1080 Activity Points

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:59 AM

It's so intriguing to look at posts from previous years and see the topics being discussed. We never really know exactly how things will play out in the future. It seems like this question is still very relevant in 2017! I live in the south and Tinker Space, Maker Space, and other problem solving, creative type approaches are rarely heard about. The closest area to me that holds Maker Faires is Houston, Texas. In the past three years it has become more evident to me that when we approach teaching in a student driven way, we reach more students and the students are much more engaged in their own learning. We can't keep teaching the way we taught even 5 years ago and expect to making a meaningful impact on children. I would love it if every elementary school had a rolling cart full of items for kids to create and build with so they can feel as though creating and problem solving are the norm.

Pamela Dupre
Pamela Dupre
83283 Activity Points

Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:48 PM

Kath

I have a grandson , a tinkerer, entering public school this fall so I do hope that the Maker Movement will affect elementary science

I plan on taking him to this Maker's Faire in NYC in September. I will report back: )

http://makerfaire.com/

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

The launch of Maker Faire in the Bay Area in 2006 demonstrated the popularity of making and interest among legions of aspiring makers to participate in hands-on activities and learn new skills at the event. A record 195,000 people attended the two flagship Maker Faires in the Bay Area and New York in 2013, with 44% of attendees first timers at the Bay Area event, and 61% in New York. A family event, 50% attend the event with children. Also in 2013, 98 independently-produced Mini and Featured Maker Faires occurred around the world, including Tokyo, Rome, Santiago, and Oslo.

Maker Faire is primarily designed to be forward-looking, showcasing makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it’s not just for the novel in technical fields; Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.
Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Many makers say they have no other place to share what they do. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is often invisible in our communities, taking place in shops, garages and on kitchen tables. It’s typically out of the spotlight of traditional art or science or craft events. Maker Faire makes visible these projects and ideas that we don’t encounter every day.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41745 Activity Points

Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:24 PM

Kathy,
I currently develop curriculum for students using the concept of "maskerisQ," I have to say student engagement is phenomenal, the problem solving that they tend to demonstrate is unbelievable, and most importantly the learning is AMAZING. To see it, try something as simple as a paper tower or paper coasters, you will see students engineer, problem solve, work as a team, and most importantly make real world connections while learning content and building their scientific knowledge.

Carmen Cruz
Carmen Cruz
2125 Activity Points

Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:25 PM

Hello! I was reading your post and curious what "maskerisQ" is?
Thank you!

Brian Whitney
Brian Whitney
1080 Activity Points

Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:25 PM

Elementary science instruction will definitely change emphasizing a great deal of constructivist theory.

Carmen Cruz
Carmen Cruz
2125 Activity Points

Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:20 PM

 
Hello Kathy, Brian, and Carmen
I am reading with great interest your ideas about STEM, NGSS and the Tinkering/Maker Movement.
Carmen, you mentioned the constructionist theory which sparked my interest in exploring this further.
In the NGSS and its relationship to Common Core we often hear about exploring ways of ‘developing collective sense making’ in the classroom and being able to have students engage in ’science talk’ Kathy has often posted about this in regard to The book Ready Set:Science chapter on Making Thinking Visible:Talk and Argument

I found a link about constructivism theory which was a online workshop by PBS a decade ago
[b]
Here is the end excerpt about benefits of constructivism [/b]
Constructivism promotes social and communication skills by creating a classroom environment that emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas. Students must learn how to articulate their ideas clearly as well as to collaborate on tasks effectively by sharing in group projects. Students must therefore exchange ideas and so must learn to "negotiate" with others and to evaluate their contributions in a socially acceptable manner. This is essential to success in the real world, since they will always be exposed to a variety of experiences in which they will have to cooperate and navigate among the ideas of others.

[b]So what do you all think about the revisiting of the constructionist theory in light of NGSS and the Tinkerers Movement?

Will this help to engage students in collective sense making in our classrooms ?
[/b]
I am all ears on this one : )

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41745 Activity Points

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