Tuesday, July 1, 2014
From June 19th -21st I attended the “Design, Do, Discover” workshop at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA. “This two-day workshop is for educators who are passionate about hands-on learning and interested in the practical implementation of these experiences in the classroom or lab setting. In particular, the focus is on integrating digital fabrication, making, and physical computing projects into the daily life of a K-12 school.”
It was great! After an introduction we were given a brief presentation on the “Maker Movement” and how Castilleja has incorporated it into their curriculum. Next, we went through a process to identify possible problems we had in our classrooms. After that, we got into groups to decide what problem we would tackle. Lastly, we signed up for 4 different workshops where we would work on creating the solution to our identified problem.
This is where things got “hands-on”. Workshops included using 3D printers, laser cutters, and programmable microcontrollers (like MakeyMakey). We attended 2 sessions a day and had “Open Lab Hours” at Castilleja’s Bourn Idea Lab to work on our project. At the final session on Friday, each group presented their creations.
The workshop was officially over, but there were 2 site visits set up for Saturday morning for those who could attend. We went to the Burke School in San Francisco and the Lighthouse Charter School in Oakland. Both these schools had new labs for their lower schools which started in the fall of 2013.
As great as the hands-on workshops were, these visits gave me a ton of ideas to bring back to ‘Iolani as we set-up our Lower School FabLab which will open this Fall. I am excited to be part of ‘Iolani School’s commitment to STEM education, design thinking and the Maker Movement.
Mahalo! to the “Design, Do, Discover” organizing committee: Angi Chau, Jaymes Dec, Diego Fonstad, & Ann Greyson. Next year’s workshop is scheduled to be hosted by Marymount School, New York, NY.