Children's Innovation Project at Explorer Academy in Huntington, WV
Children’s Innovation Project embraces innovation as finding something new inside something known. This frame for innovation allows a slow space for children to find small, authentic discoveries and reflect on themselves in relation to the materials they explore. An approach of technology as raw material further supports children’s innovation as it nudges children to work deeply at the grain of technology as they explore with Circuit Blocks, electronic toys, other devices and components. Read below to hear one teacher's story about how this project came to life in her classroom. For more information - http://www.cippgh.org
Explorer Academy, Kindergarten - Miss Stephanie's Room
Over the last few weeks, the Kindergarten Crews at Explorer Academy explored circuits using the Create Lab Children’s Innovation Project. The children first explored toys to see how they worked and what parts they could find that make the toys work. “This toy has buttons that make it light up. See? If you push this, it makes a sound, too!”
The children used the "Habits of Good Innovators" to make sketches of the parts of the toys that make them work. Once the children had named the parts of the toys, they used tools to take a toy apart.
“This is a screwdriver. It twists to get the nails out when they’re stuck,” explained one child. “This is a measurer. It sees how tall you are. There’s one at the doctor, too. Did you know that?” asked another child. Once the children had examined the tools and toys, they had the opportunity to work with the circuit blocks.
They worked with a partner to create a working circuit that would power a lightbulb using wires and a battery pack. They figured out that a closed circuit, or a complete circle, would power the lightbulb. But, an open circuit, or an incomplete circle would not power the light bulb. They then were able explore different types of switch to create open and closed circuits. Once the children had completed their exploration of the circuits, they were able to scientifically sketch how the circuit worked in their expedition notebooks.