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In this professional development workshop we will explore computational tinkering — a playful, collaborative, and open-ended approach to exploring digital tools like Arduino, Scratch programming, Micro:bit and Chibitronics Chibichip.

As part of the two-day atelier, educators will experience several hands-on computational tinkering activities as learners, construct our own workshop elements, and brainstorm strategies to integrate new technologies to art, science, and making programs.

Workshop participants will participate in initial explorations of playful computation using scratch and experience an analog tinkering activity to help us collectively identify the learning outcomes that these activities support.

Workshop Location

The workshop will take place at The Annex @ Brightworks

1920 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Dates and Times

We’ll start with an informal reception on Friday, August 10th from 6:00-8:00 to learn more about each other and see a few computational tinkering experiments.

The workshop will run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on August 11th and 12th with a mix of hands-on sessions, reflective discussions, practical brainstorming sessions, food, and fun

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Together we’ll engage with two open ended computational tinkering investigations that focus on crafting with code and playful robotics using tools like Micro:bit, servo motors, hot glue guns, cardboard, Chibitronics Chibichips, copper tape and LEDs. Participants will leave with a kit of materials to continue all the experiments and a resource list with information about where to get all the workshop elements.

Over the course of the workshop, we’ll reflect on the value of a constructionist approach that encourages students to think with their hands and learn through play, as they create, share, imagine and reflect on their own learning process. This tinkering disposition can help make topics like coding, computational thinking, STEAM content and 21st century skills accessible and relevant to learners of all backgrounds and interest levels.

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Workshop Participants

This workshop is designed for educators who are new to making and tinkering as well as those with more experience that want to incorporate computation to existing programs and activities. The activities and conversations are structured to support people who work across a variety of settings including:

  • K-12 teachers or librarians integrating making and tinkering into their classrooms

  • educators at science centers and museums

  • out-of-school professionals at libraries, YMCAs, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other organizations

  • formal education curriculum developers or early childhood education specialists

  • artists and makers interested in learning about educational approaches

We’re interested in learning from each other to explore the possibilities for computational tinkering across different learning environments.


Costs and Registration

The workshop fee will be $575 per participant which includes:

  • Two full days of hands-on interactive workshops and reflective discussions 

  • A kit of parts to take home 

  • Breakfast, lunch, and snacks each day

This cost does not include travel, accommodations, and meals outside of the workshop. Groups of three or more participants from the same institution are eligible for a discounted registration fee.

The workshop is offered for free for a limited number of teachers from Title I Schools. Please inquire for more details to ryan@wonderfulidea.co


Workshop Leaders

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Saskia Leggett

Saskia Leggett cares about empowering people by engaging communities, designing experiences, curating resources, telling stories, facilitating connections, and building relationships. Saskia works at the intersection of creativity, education, and technology, focusing on large and small scale creative learning experiences. Saskia is currently consulting on designing creative learning programming and resources for various Bay Area-based companies across the fields of computing, education, and AI robotics. She previously worked as the Outreach Manager at the Scratch Foundation, supporting creative computing with Scratch at the Lifelong Kindergarten Group of the MIT Media Lab, and holds a degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Ryan JEnkins

Ryan Jenkins is the co-founder of Wonderful Idea Co, a creative studio in Northern California that explores art, science & technology through making and tinkering. Ryan trains educators, develops playful environments, and creates unique handmade exhibits and art pieces for museums and makerspaces.

Previously, Ryan was a founding member of the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio, where he developed workshops and activities that have been used, adapted and remixed in innovative education settings around the world. He has worked closely with partners at the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab, Brightworks School, Make Magazine and LEGO Foundation to develop a deep understanding of the latest developments in STEAM education.