When we remove the white coat of inquiry we are introduced to a world of stories of practicing artists and scientists that have blurred the lines of these seemingly disparate disciplines. These stories inspire us by revealing the long standing history of how science has influenced art movements and individual artists. In this section we will look at the role of materials as a rich and natural intersection for the practice of art and science in harmony. We will hear a story of a how the science of the mind influenced a modern art movement and we will also examine the value of art as a powerful catalyst for inquiry for scientists of all ages. Thanks to the maker movement and the merger of art with STEM, we are seeing a witnessing a new horizon of Material Science and Making.
Hillbrook’s 5th grade, the class of 2019, has embarked on this year’s spring hard problem, a semester long deep project in science that addresses rigorous research practices, as well as a challenging engineering and design prompt.
Ilaria La Manna is an extraordinary children's educator and director of Fab Lab Argentina, who works with FabLat, an organization that connects children and educators learning and making all over Latin America. She is in Boston taking some courses and generously offered to connect our Fab Lab to a network of Fab Labs doing an Emosilla or "Emotion Chair" workshop in Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Columbia on Saturday 5 December 2015.
This is a guest blogpost by our talented Tufts University Tisch Summer Fellow, Michelle Nguyen, who conducted research with Boston's Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn program. Annually, our teen youth teachers teach 700+ children at over 25 community organizations. We have high expectations that our youth always exceed. As our program name suggests, we also believe that learning is deepened when youth are engaged in teaching others.
I've been an education organizer for Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn for a dozen years. Many of our youth have moved on to college and beyond and sometimes I lose track of them. So, late one night I decided to google "Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn" to see what came up.
As a maker-educator, I love Twitter and have many Twitter maker friends who inspire my practice.
Recently, my Twitter friend @joshburker (who recently published a rockin’ maker guide you definitely want to buy!) did a light-up electric cuff soft circuit project with his senior citizen technology group at the library.
This is the third of a series of posts documenting the progression of a collaborative project at the South End Technology Center @ Tent City supported by the Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean's Equity Project. The goal was to create a safe and creative space for high school and college youth to explore their identities and the issues that have come up for them with the #BlackLivesMatter movement through activities based on Hip Hop Culture.
In 2011, I became the 5th and 6th grade science teacher at the Hillbrook School (Los Gatos, Ca). That same year the school undertook an audit of the science program for areas of strength, as well as areas for improvement. Simultaneously, the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasizing problem solving and engineering, had just been released, and that spring (2012), I attended my first Bay Area Maker Faire. After reviewing the available research on teaching and learning, attending workshops such as FabLearn at Stanford, and the Innovative Learning conference at the Nueva School, I was inspired to bring more engineering and design into the science curriculum. To learn how to do this well, I consulted with experts, such as Ed Carryer of Stanford’s Smart Product Design Lab (learn more about SPDL in Tony Wagner’s book Creating Innovators), to learn more about the use of prompts for semester long engineering projects. By the 2012 school year, I felt ready to prototype the new 5/6th grade science curriculum, now renamed Problem based Science. Problem based science (PbS) encourages students to gain a love of scientific thinking, applied math, and the creative use of technology, while learning through the lens of invention, design thinking, fixing and tinkering. Now in its fourth year of researched-based development, this blog describes how problem based science differs from traditional middle school science classes (i.e., how I used to teach) and lists the four core units of the curriculum. While these units currently make up only the 5th grade science curriculum at Hillbrook, the units are designed to be open ended enough to be applied to any age/grade level with varying degrees of content detail, technology integration, and design challenge difficulty.