An important part of The Exploratory and Maker Guilds mission is to provide professional development for educators. Our goals include sharing how we use making techniques to engage students in STEAM and providing an opportunity to use our Tinker. Make. Innovate. ® process. Today thirty teachers from Milken Middle School came to The Exploratory and played with the latest making tools.
The teachers had an opportunity to engage in different making project stations to get a glimpse of the types of projects we provide schools. The stations included in this professional development session were: paper circuits, e-textiles, Arduino and circuits, and laser cutting and 3D modeling.
After exposing the teachers to all the different projects, Jean took the teachers through our Tinker.Make.Innovate. ® process to create a rough prototype to solve a specific problem. The teachers of Milken came up with some really interesting ideas to solve each other's problems. One teacher came up with a prototypes to get to the bathroom without waking up other people in your house...socks with a light in the front so you can see where you are going in the dark as well as gloves with light up finger tips, and a rug that lights your way to the bathroom when you step on it. Many teachers struggled with waking up in the morning. Solutions proposed were a coffee maker alarm clock and a song bird noise machine shaped like an actual bird.
Professional development is a stepping stone to really immersing the teachers into how making can help children learn. We are supplementing these professional development workshops with curriculum development services and coaching to help educators bring this type of engagement strategies into the classroom.