Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

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Overview

Join the maker movement!

There's a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying ...

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Overview

Join the maker movement!

There's a technological and creative revolution underway. Amazing new tools, materials and skills turn us all into makers. Using technology to make, repair or customize the things we need brings engineering, design and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing. The active learner is at the center of the learning process, amplifying the best traditions of progressive education. This book helps educators bring the exciting opportunities of the maker movement to every classroom.

Children are natural tinkerers

Their seminal learning experiences come through direct experience with materials. Digital fabrication, such as 3D printing and physical computing, including Arduino, MaKey MaKey and Raspberry Pi, expands a child's toy and toolboxes with new ways to make things and new things to make. For the first time ever, childhood inventions may be printed, programmed or imbued with interactivity. Recycled materials can be brought back to life.

While school traditionally separates art and science, theory and practice, such divisions are artificial. The real world just doesn't work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game developers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable. The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians. The maker community brings children, hobbyists and professionals together in a glorious celebration of personal expression with a modern flare.

When 3-D printing, precision cutting, microcomputer control, robotics and computer programming become integral to the art studio, auto shop or physics lab, every student needs access to tools, knowledge and problem solving skills. The maker movement not only blurs the artificial boundaries between subject areas, it erases distinctions between art and science while most importantly obliterating the crippling practice of tracking students in academic pursuits or vocational training. There are now multiple pathways to learning what we have always taught and things to do that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Making for every classroom budget

Even if you don't have access to expensive (but increasingly affordable) hardware, every classroom can become a makerspace where kids and teachers learn together through direct experience with an assortment of high and low-tech materials. The potential range, breadth, power, complexity and beauty of projects has never been greater thanks to the amazing new tools, materials, ingenuity and playfulness you will encounter in this book.

In this practical guide, Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager provide K-12 educators with the how, why, and cool stuff that supports classroom making.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780989151108
  • Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Pages: 254
  • Sales rank: 82,198
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Martinez is President of Generation YES, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young people to improve their schools and communities with modern technology. Sylvia works in schools around the world to bring the power of authentic learning into classrooms, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Sylvia speaks, writes, and advocates for student-centered, project-based learning, gender equity in technology, computer programming, and life-long learning. Previous to Generation YES, Sylvia was in charge of product development at several software publishers, designing and creating video games and educational software. Sylvia also had a career in aerospace engineering as a senior scientist on the GPS navigational satellite system research and development. She holds a masters in educational technology and a bachelors in electrical engineering.

Gary S. Stager, Ph.D. is one of the world's leading experts and advocates for computer programming, robotics and learning-by-doing in classrooms. In 1990, Dr. Stager led professional development in the world's first laptop schools and played a major role in the early days of online education. In addition to being a popular keynote speaker at some of the world's most prestigious education conferences, Gary is a journalist, teacher educator, consultant, professor, software developer, and school STEM. Director. An elementary teacher by training, he has taught students from preschool through doctoral studies. Gary is the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute for educators.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    Brilliant cover to cover

    If you are a teacher trying to learn how to help your students be more creative, more independent, and more thoughtful; if you want boatloads of ideas for the types of projects your students can do; if you want a vision of what is possible for schools; if these things interest you, read this book. If you are a parent who has heard about the "Maker Movement" and is wondering what that would look like in schools, read this book. If you are anyone at all who cares about what education could be as opposed to what it often is, read this book. Martinez & Stager's writing is clear and concise, there are resources and suggestions galore, and the concept of "constructionist" education is given the thoughtful explanation it rightfully deserves. I'm convinced that if our schools had the types of projects, resources, and opportunities available that the authors describe, we would be raising a much more creative, engaged, and innovative group of young people. In short: read this book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    This book will lead you gently down the path of establishing a m

    This book will lead you gently down the path of establishing a maker-space in your school -- but more importantly it will help you see the importance of constructionism in education. Beyond circuits and programming, any educator can glean valuable insight into how to create a classroom filled with inquiry and autonomy -- where students take charge of their own learning. I cannot recommend this book highly enough -- it is a must-read for any educator!

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