At the Exploratory we teach all ages of children, but we feel the sooner we can introduce making to children the more they can develop the “growth mindset” which is why we are providing professional development for pre-school teachers. Pre-school education has been described by some here as a different ball game and the most important part about educating pre-school children about making is educating the teachers. Twelve teachers from First Years Pre-school were here on February 3rd to learn about the maker movement, it’s effect on education and to learn how we introduce STEAM, making and innovative thinking with 3-5 year olds.
One teacher learned the joy of taking apart one of her favorite childhood toys, the Nintendo game console which sparked a discussion about the differences between game consoles and the mystery of why blowing on the Nintendo games worked so well. A lot of teachers discovered the creativity of cardboard. I saw projects like a tank complete with army men, a long-necked bird, and a beautiful treasure box with a dark pink flower. The teachers also tinkered with wood to make cars for the nerdy derby, experimented with paper circuits, and tried to make plastic eggs fly in the wind tunnel.
After the Tinker. Make. Innovate Lab, we asked the teachers to reflect on their learning experience and to discuss how they would integrate what they learned in their classrooms. It was great to see teachers getting so excited about the Tinker.Make.Innovate process and how introducing design thinking, making and STEAM at an early age can make a huge difference in a child’s education experience.