At the end of term 2 teachers from 30 DEECD schools participated in a day of hard fun and problem solving at Invent to Learn workshops across Victoria led by Dr. Gary Stager. Gary and Sylvia Martinez co authored the new book, Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom.
The workshops began with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Participants looked at examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and then explored the breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement that are combining to create rich learning experiences.
Participants had chance to take on the role of learner and tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can be used with students.
At the end of each workshop teachers shared how their experiences and learnings could be applied back in their schools.
The team from Warrnambool College decided they would like to expose all staff to the ideas of making, tinkering and engineering by setting up a ‘Maker Corner’ in their staffroom where staff could play and experiment with new materials
The team from Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College are exploring how they can create a new hands-on technology subject that combines digital, materials and food technologies with science and mathematics.
Silverton Primary School teachers resolved to take another look at Scratch (a programming language for students available on the EduStar image) and see how they could use it to program Lego constructions to respond to commands.
All teachers had fun with:
Soft Circuits, using conductive thread, sewable coin battery holders and felt to create wearable electronics projects.
Interactive Greeting cards using conductive paints
Makey Makeys which allow students to connect anything in the real world to computer software that responds to keyboard input
Arduinos which allow student to build electronics projects using an arduino, breadboard, jumper wires, LEDs etc
Probot, a small robotic car that can be programed to move and draw.
Turtle Art a computer drawing program inspired by Logo programming language