“Play is a primary way that children learn about themselvesand the world around them.”~ Sir Ken Robinson, “Dirt is Good: Why the Outdoors is the World’s Greatest Playgorund” from National Geographic
The Young STEAM Inventors have been conducting exploring in the Makerspace through centers. The centers included:
- a dinosaur dig site for paleontologists (all dressed in paleontology hats) to dig for dinosaur bones
- a train station center where students stepped into the shoes of a train conductor (wearing vests and hats). They collaborated in building bridges and writing signs for train departures
- a playground redesign comprised of two mini-projects — one section was a landscaping and “nature playscaping” space for students who wanted to incorporate more natural elements such as trees; the other section with the structural and architectural design of the space
- a penguin research center where students could look up information about penguins through books, compare and contrast penguin feathers versus chicken feathers
- a Dinosaur Lego Land Park using Legos and unit blocks at the Lego table
For preschool students using unit blocks and duplo blocks
For Kindergarten and Grade 1 students using smaller Lego blocks for more developed fine motor skills
Train Station Center
Preschool and kindergarten students are shown here exploring with trains.
Conducting penguin research and comparing eggs
Our budding paleontologists (K0/K1, K2, Grade 1) are seen here working at our indoor dig site. We also have architects and engineers designing our Dinosaur Park. This Dinosaur Park is an open collaboration project where students of all age levels can enter at a level in which they are comfortable. The pedagogical challenge for teachers is in making the lessons open-ended while also developmentally-appropriate, in addition to differentiating for students with a variety of skills (especially necessary for students who are a little more advanced).
Limitlessness With Legos: K2 and Grade 1 Students