We value interesting tools and materials, but recognize that people are the most valuable resource in makerspaces. Our hands-on PD workshops give educators, designers, and stakeholders the chance to try activities as learners, reflect on the experience, and leave with practical tools and techniques to get started with tinkering and making.
Dive into the tinkering approach with activities that support collaboration, agency, and engagement with STEAM topics. The workshop consists of experiences as a learner and time for reflecting about the implications for our educational practice. Some of the topics include art machines, light and shadow play and circuit explorations. Participants will leave with tools and materials needed to present these workshops in their space as well as ideas about how to adapt and modify these experiences over time.
Making things increasingly means using a computation to program electronic devices to construct project ideas. We’ve crafted a workshop that supports a friendly, approachable introduction to tinkering with code combined with real world materials. Participants will try activities that merge programming with paper crafts, sewing, and storytelling and leave with tools and materials needed to present these workshops in their space as well as ideas about how to adapt and modify these experiences over time.
We can learn about circuitry by carefully dissecting second-hand mechanical toys and reflecting on the components found inside. We'll reuse the mechanisms to create art, add conductive thread to the fur to light up LEDs, and mount components on wooden blocks to make a toy inspired circuitry kit. Participants will leave with tools and materials as well as ideas about how to adapt and modify these experiences over time.
Building a chain reaction combines mechanical contraptions, electrical circuits, storytelling, and serendipity. In this workshop each participant constructs a device on one table that is linked by a pair of dominos to the next section, creating a collaborative chain reaction. We’ve tried this workshop in small intimate settings and in giant public events and every time it results in new ideas, unexpected solutions, and innovative uses of materials. We’ll provide all the materials needed for the chain reaction including special exploration tables for young children and spectacular finales of varying sizes and scales.