What do design, DIY, robotics, engineering, and music all have in common? They all combine to create the successful ingredients for ICAT’s first ever Maker camp! On July 30, 2012, ICAT studio heads, researchers, and graduate students welcomed nearly thirty middle and high school-aged students to a week long camp designed to harness students’ creativity and encourage them to act on their curiosity.
The GAMES Project is a three-year, NSF-funded program addressing the need to develop transformative learning experiences that leverage video games and mobile technologies. The focus is to target the learning of pre-algebraic fraction concepts in middle school students by examining links between motivation, engagement, and fraction proficiency.
Beginning in the fall of 2012, some eighth grade students at a local middle school will be studying their subject matter in an altogether different way every Friday. Two eighth grade teachers spent the summer working with IDEAStudio team members to plan a design-based curriculum that emphasizes the important connections among disciplines. The students’ objective will be to design an exhibit for the Science Museum of Western Virginia that demonstrates how to make their world a better place.
The Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology took some of its projects on the road, bringing a group of interactive exhibitions that merged creative technologies with the arts and education to the Science Museum of Western Virginia for its “Second Saturday Science” program. Children of all ages had the opportunity to virtually visit a Native American village near Jamestown, Va., during the time of early English settlement; see their dance moves transformed into digital art; and experiment with robots that respond to light and touch, among other activities.
Students of the IDEAStudio special study course, “Bridging the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities through Creative Technologies,” collaborated to deliver three one-hour workshops for elementary students during the spring 2012 semester. Participants in the course used the workshops to test progressive iterations of their Change Over Time project, which encourages students to visualize science concepts and create artistic representations of those concepts using a single sheet of paper. This project is for the Spring 2012 term.
Area makers ages 13 to 18 are invited to share what they make with the world at Virginia Tech’s first Make-to-Learn Workshop. The free event will be held on Saturday, April 6, from 1-5p.m. in STUDIOne. Makers create everything from engineering-oriented projects to traditional arts and crafts. Participants will complete a project, but will also learn how to identify, document, and explain their process. After completing a project, participants will have the opportunity to submit their creations to the Make-to-Learn contest at Instructables.com.
The structured after-school space has long demonstrated educational benefits. After-school settings typically provide homework support, helping students build self-confidence. They are safe places for socializing and forming relationships with caring adults. Nevertheless, there is a lack of research on determining what academics youth might learn in after-school settings without the testing rigor of in-school classrooms.
Kids age 6 to 12 are invited to bring an adult and build a cardboard arcade game at ICAT’s second annual Caine’s Arcade Global Cardboard Challenge. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 28 from 9 to 2. We had so much fun last year.