Monday, January 25, 2016

The thinking behind the tinkering

How can we create a new generation of kids who are no longer passive users of technology, but instead are thinkers and makers? That's what happened here in Windsor. It's our heritage and it's our challenge.

Before fully diving in to a maker space project, it seemed appropriate to do some research. I began with the history.  The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors who Make Amermica Great helped me to connect the idea of tinkering to the past. While the word "tinkering" might sound like someone who is aimlessly messing around, it is a deeply innovative practice--building something out of existing, available parts for an entirely new purpose. It is exactly what happened here in Windsor as the development of interchangeable parts and increasing precision were iterative processes.

Invent to LearnTinkering: Kids Learn to Make Stuffand the NGSS Science Standards all helped me to think about to shape a learning environment where kids would be innovative.  All agreed that we want kids to be unencumbered, filled with possibility. We want them to think, make, and improve. We want them to collaborate. We want them to have opportunities to reflect, talk about their work, and share with others.

That's the philosophy behind our project.

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