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Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

Session 2
Sylvia Martinez, Gary Stager — Generation YES, Constructivist Consortium

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but invention is the mother of learning!

Imagine a place where hard fun and problem solving combine with computing and tinkering. This could be your classroom and your students the masters of their own learning. • Discuss how digital fabrication is changing the world and its potential effect on schooling. • Learn what kinds of materials and resources are needed and where to find them. • Explore how to bring learning through tinkering and invention to the classroom no matter your budget. • Learn to justify this 21st century project-based learning. • Differences for elementary, middle years, and secondary schools will be explored. • Discover changes in design methodology that impact the traditional scientific method. • Explore making across the curriculum. • Appreciate the promise of S.T.E.M. when rooted in the maker ethos and constructionism. • Reinvent approaches to teacher professional development. • Situate tinkering, hacking, inventing and making in a sound theoretical context for learning.

Conversational Practice

This will be a conversation about the particular contexts that people bring to the session. A bit of a "do-it-yourself" clinic. As we find out who is coming to Educon, we hope to include other teachers with makerspaces in their classrooms to come and share their experiences. If that is possible, we could break into smaller groups, perhaps by interest (programming vs. fabrication) or elementary, middle, HS. It sort of depends on who is coming to Educon. Would love to include some SLA teachers in this too, since they are obviously doing some of this at SLA.

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