“Kids today need the chance to design, create, and communicate, all highly desirable competencies in this century. Our study of how children learn has led us to create maker opportunities as a pathway to contemporary experiential learning. We see kids all the time who find learning becomes important to them through their maker work and that content suddenly starts to make sense. In doing so, they naturally experience social-emotional learning through empathic design and collaboration with peers and experts.” From Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools, co-authored by Pam Moran, Ira David Socal, Chad Ratliff.

The philosophy of ‘The Little Makers’ is always learning enjoyed by the children. To enjoy learning, among other things, one needs to take pleasure from mastering concepts, being able to exercise own creation and most importantly, having fun in it. Today, we are going to talk about i) Experiment in Project and ii) Play-based Learning and iii) Self-Design made Fun.

<< 1. Experiment in Project >>

Our experiment approach and the process, made the lab works becoming more meaningful, engaging and related to the world around our children. That’s the fundamental to master to any STEM/ STEAM learning. It’s fascinating and fulfilling to see children to enjoy their learning, making sense of life, not only in understanding but also practical. Most importantly, celebrating their own adventure in a self-discovery mode. In our labs, the children may question on preconceptions, discuss and feedback in a team and hands-on on works+projects. In STEAM Education Movement, we:

❤ Educate – Inspire wonder. Bring the children into action with interactive experiences and experiment, and most importantly, foster kids’ curiosity. We let them learn the science behind their creations and fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.

❤ Excel – STEAM education improves and enhances various skills, including motor, coordination, integration, interaction learning, collaboration, and problem solving skills.

❤ Engage – We emphasize on Applied Knowledge, we build our teaching approaches on the ground to encourage students to see applications of science in everyday life. And of cause, we

❤ run Experiment project – Experiment is important for children to understand the Science behind:

1. Children needs to run (do) their own experiment
2. Experiment must run few trials as repetition is important
3. Children must practice to observe
4. Children to have the mind to question
(and we question back)

<< 2. Play-based Learning >>

It’s always great ideas to set challenges (games for play) in our teaching. In our classes, we designed fun activities that are possible for the children to enjoy in games. The challenges (games for play) set the children to think and recap on the lessons + lab works of past weeks. It’s not only is a free play, it generates a lot of thinking! The activities provide a lot of experience and overall made an adventurous weekend to our Little Makers. Their applied knowledge is built up as they succeed too.

A play-based learning is a fabulous platform for the development of a range of important study, work and life skills, including;

– Problem solving, Creative thinking
– Consideration of the relevance of sources of information
– Perseverance, the ability to overcome disappointment and motivation to proceed
– Evaluation and revision

✅ We begin each play by talking about the challenges and identifying what needs to be resolved.
✅ With groups of children, we paired them up so they will be able to support, discuss and confirm each other’s work
✅ When children get stuck we ask a series of probing questions to help them to describe what they think is happening and how they might find alternative solutions.
✅ We help children to accept that false moves are part of the learning process. Each try is necessary to validate the result.
✅ We do revisions to reflect on the learning: What do they understand from the challenge, how would they attempt the challenge again if they had more time.

<< 3. Self-Design made Fun >>

Today’s modern learner are energetic and tech-savvy individual. STEM education benefits children by igniting their interest and increase their curiosity. It’s important to take note that, they must enjoy what they have built.

✅ In our recent class activities – We let the children’s imagination soar in building miniature’s living / doll house. In May, we are blending in 1. “Architecture and Design Thinking” (our March Theme) + 2. “Circuit Lab” (our April Theme) into our May theme of “Application of circuit in our daily life”. We arranged our monthly themes in a way that children could reap the benefits of concepts + practical application.

In May, we invited 2 boys (brothers) to build a Bring Home DIY Hybrid Robot. Objective is for the children to apply knowledge to create their own robot that they can take home, so the young learners don’t just learn how to build stuff, but also discover the principles of modelling behind how it works. The 2 boys came up with creative games which featuring their programmed robot in 1. Funny battery hunt, 2. a friendship program and 3. sound-clip of Avenger on their own.

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery. In the whole learning process, kids will learn about getting help by playing games and helping others too 🙂