Circuit Party!

A joint making session with elementary campers and adult campers creating circuits, toys, machines in an unstructured environment.

Photo of John Harp
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Circuit Party!  

In this joint making session elementary campers make circuits and mechanical toys alongside adult campers.  However, it’s up to the campers to learn, create and problem-solve in this unstructured, studio-type environment.  Adults recruited include a culturally diverse group of professionals &/or college students associated with art, science, music, or technology.  The space is open with materials, tools and project examples clearly displayed and grouped for campers to tinker, hack and spark curiosity in one aspect or another.  Partnerships form naturally followed by intentionality all while the facilitator encourages solidarity amongst the whole group of makers.

How does this idea help to spark student curiosity?

The school essentially serves as a reference builder providing students’ with exposure to community members typically outside of their learning environment. The workshop fosters individual curiosity with emphasis on process rather than a product. Young minds wander freely and feel safe asking questions and getting stumped with their new peers.

What grade level is this idea most appropriate for?

  • Elementary (1-5)

5 comments

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Photo of Ellen Deutscher
Team

Yay for having kid and adult campers! And anything called a party is likely to spark curiosity!!

Photo of James Campbell
Team

Hello Anderson
I love this idea!!! I love that this workshop blends young learners and adult learners. The children will bring the natural curiosity and the adults will ask those great questions that lead to going deeper.
I wonder how this will work with 9-12 graders and 1-5 students in the same work shop.

Photo of Paula Marra
Team

YEY I see you!
Love your post and the partnership between the different ages and the freedom provide for discovery! cheers, paula

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

Hi Anderson! Welcome to the Guild!!! We are so glad you posted! Always a fan of experiential ed, especially when you can get parents involved. Have you ever heard of the Invention Convention for students? I did this with my 3rd graders years ago. We had parents involved, students took apart old appliances, identified a problem in their everyday life and then prototyped a solution. Awesome fun! Heres a brief overview: https://www.eduplace.com/science/invention/overview.html

There are a couple others who have posted similar ideas that you might want to connect with:

Techno Box: https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-spark-student-curiosity/ideate/techno-box

Upcycled Creativity: https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-spark-student-curiosity/ideate/upcycled-creativity

Excited about Learning: https://teachersguild.org/challenge/how-might-we-spark-student-curiosity/ideate/excited-about-learning

Photo of Mark Carlucci
Team

This is awesome! I think we can become so isolated in schools that we end up separating ourselves from the community that we are trying to teach our students to be part of.

This is a great way to bring school and "the real world" together, and make everyone partners in learning.

You noted this most appropriate for elementary students, do you see it as something that can be explored at other levels of education?

I can really see this moving into all sorts of subject areas, any suggestions how to expand this beyond circuits and mechanical toys?