Making it real – constructionism comes to life

The 2014/2015 FabLearn Fellows are a diverse group of 18 educators and makers. They represent eight states and five countries, and work with a wide range of ages at schools, museums, universities and non-profits. Throughout the course of the year, they will develop curriculum and resources, as well as contribute to current research projects. Their blogs represent their diverse experience and interests in creating better educational oportunities for all.

I’ve been privileged to mentor this group this past year and part of that is summarizing their amazing blog posts. Here are some blog highlights from May 2015.

Constructionism through Design Thinking Projects

students working on projects
Working on the “Spring Hard Problem”

Christa Flores shares a complete 5th grade science unit, including resources, benchmarks, assessments, student feedback, and videos of the completed projects. Teams of four uncovered needs, brainstormed, designed, engaged in peer critique, prototyped, built, and shared their projects at Maker Faire.

Continuing Series – The FabLab and Its Learning Dynamic

Nalin Tutiyaphuengprasertu continues her series about the Learning Dynamic of a FabLab, connecting theory with observations of various classes at the Bourn Idea Lab at Castilleja School with Ms. Angi Chau and Ms. Heather Pang.

Telegraph Project in History

A few months ago, Heather Pang wrote a blog post,  Where is the Line? about the line between instructions and letting students figure it all out in a history project about the telegraph and its impact on American history. This post follows up after the project was completed, and Heather shares her thoughts about the results.

Making and National History Day

Heather Pang says that while,  National History Day (NHD) is a rather “old school” competition, she saw “the potential for deep research and thought, a good match with our department history “habits of mind” and a great opportunity for students to pick topics that they cared about.” Find out how she combined this “strictly constrained” assignment with open-ended processes that result in her students working like historians, not history students.

Making Stuff Light Up and Move!

Tracy Rudzitis outlines a
sixth and seventh grade STEAM project on electricity. She shares the learning targets, project prompts, and student documentation of their work. Over 300 students completed their projects in a variety of ways with a wide range of materials from soft and paper circuits to MaKey MaKeys and Arduinos.

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