“A flying machine inspired by dragonfly wings, caterpillar game and cuddly robots”
Will an approach that relies on making, tinkering, question asking be used in the mainstream classroom?
Rachelle Doorley says “When children are encouraged to solve problems on their own, they learn a great deal through the questions and hands-on-experiments that lead to a solution. Even pre-verbal children pose questions and identify problems – think of a baby who works hard to grasp an out-of reach toy. ”
Two ingredients are necessary for tinkering – a problem and a curious mind. Allowing children the freedom to think independently and to dive into projects without a pre-determined goal, is the sign of a successful creative experience. But is the idea of building rockets and playing with things more suitable for the backyard and preschool? Can a hand-on-approach to teaching be used in the classroom?
One of the main ideas behind some material that I have made, is that a hand-on approach can be mixed with a think dive approach to develop and encourage children to plan, pose questions and to explore a topic like biomimicry by building and constructing things.
The idea that students can play and discover things is often missing from mainstream education. Yet to be successful in the 21st century, it is important to be able to both think creatively and to make and create things.
“Maker portfolios” may be introduced by MIT, a way for potential students to show projects that they have participated in. A similar approach as art portfolios. The portfolios can be used in the application process alongside test scores, essays and recommendations.
The power to tinker and make things, transforms children and students from being consumers to seeing themselves as producers. This approach to life is in itself valuable.
You can buy the material Biomimicry for Young Children at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Handful of curiosity + bucket of imagination + ocean of ideas = think dive
Sparking Thinkibility Book Tips
Tinkerlab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors by Rochelle Dorley