Child presenting her Light Play tinkering project, Exploratorium Afterschool program with Boys & Girls Clubs
California Tinkering Afterschool Network Project Timeline
OCTOBER 2015: A new paper by Bronwyn Bevan, Jean Ryoo, James Forrest, and William Penuel synthesizes research regarding research-practice partnerships in informal educational settings. The resource is featured on the Afterschool Alliance and CAISE (Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education) websites.
OCTOBER 2015: CTAN partners from the Exploratorium and Techbridge—as well as the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio—participate in the sixth annual East Bay Mini Maker Faire in Oakland. At the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio booth, visitors engage with "playful programming" using Beetle Blocks to create designs that were printed with a 3-D printer, WaterColorBot, and vinyl cutter. Visitors also play with a Scratch-programmed xylophone to make music, as well as with cardboard linkages. At the Techbridge booth, Techbridge girls taught visitors how to tinker and create their own paper circuits.
OCTOBER 2015: CTAN partners Jean Ryoo, Michelle Choi, and Emily McLeod publish a new resource for research-practice partnerships (RPPs) interested in equity. Stakeholders in RPPs often come from different institutions with distinct vocabularies, communication structures, and work practices. This resource was created to ensure that partnerships are mutually beneficial for educators and researchers. It describes what equitable RPPs look like and offers guiding questions that partners can use to establish, engage, and encourage equity in their partnerships. You can find the new resource on the Research+Practice Collaboratory website.
August 2015: CTAN colleagues from Techbridge and the Exploratorium participated in the first Fundamentals of Tinkering online class, a free resource offered by the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio. The group met each week at the Techbridge office (with Techbridge program coordinators from Seattle and DC joining us online) to tinker and discuss the readings, videos and experiences offered by the course—and had a lot of fun!
July 2015: The Watsonville Environmental Workshop staff, parents, and children hacked and built a bunch of bikes, scooters, and even a hovercraft for the July 4th parade in their community.
June 2015: Meg Escudé (Exploratorium) and Emilyn Green (Community Science Workshop) presented an Afterschool Alliance webinar entitled “Equity in Making and Tinkering.” See the following recordings and resources provided by the Afterschool Alliance from this webinar:
June 2015: Community Science Workshop Network announcement: The city of Fresno is proud to open a new Community Science Center in the Highway City neighborhood. This new facility will open its doors on June 24, 2015, and will be located at 5140 N. State Avenue. The city's Community Science program has served thousands of kids over the years and provided Fresno youth with opportunities to learn hands-on science at schools, in city parks, and at community centers since 1996. The new Highway City Community Science Center is transforming a formerly abandoned city park into a vibrant hub for tinkering, making, and exploratory learning in the heart of a kid-dense neighborhood in west Fresno.
May 2015: CTAN at Maker Faire in San Mateo, May 16, 2015: CTAN partners came together at Maker Faire this year and explored the event with family and friends. Techbridge girls also presented amazing projects! Displays on exhibit at the Young Makers hall included the "Soundboxd" project, which featured an interactive display of notes that visitors could play—as well as lights that reacted to the sound of those notes. Another group created the "Ultrasonic Celestial Eye Ver. 2000X." These were shoes that vibrated faster and faster as objects came within 10 feet and closer of the wearer. These incredible shoes were designed specifically for the visually impaired. Another group of girls showed various prototypes of their "Progressive Alarm Clock," which made increasingly annoying sounds to get a drowsy person out of bed. Their table celebrated the process of tinkering, illustrating how each version of their alarm-clock design improved over time, even if it wasn't quite finished yet. All these projects were well-received and provided an inspiring opportunity to share the STEM-rich creativity of students in our Network.