This is one in a series of blog posts about our current Tinkering Studio projects and initiatives shared at the Exploratorium's 2022 Trade Show.
Tech & Play
The Tech & Play initiative is an international network of partners that develop and practice playful approaches to learning. The shared goal of our Community of Practice is to strengthen education practice through tinkering and play-based approaches both in and out of school. Together with our partners in Rwanda, Kenya, Brazil, and the US, we exchange insights, and lessons learned from diverse national contexts and expand and transform our practices together.
Case Study: Spinning Tops Workshop
The Tinkering Studio team collaborated on a workshop based in Kigali, Rwanda alongside local educators. Teachers explored spinning in a variety of ways and learned about tinkering through making Spinning Tops themselves. The local facilitation team gathered everyday materials for making tops, and the results were varied and expansive.
During the workshop, we saw a fantastic variety of tops. Clementine (left) made a top inspired by a toy from her childhood. Spoons and balloons were also featured, and there was a lot of floor testing. There was a local facilitation team and the Tinkering Studio joined remotely via Zoom.
Case Study: Balance Workshop with Kenya Play
We tried out a balancing sculpture workshop over Zoom with the Kenya Play team to begin conversations around creative learning and how their practices as proponents of creative learning overlap with ours.
“What made me feel I was tinkering was when I was deciding. Deciding what do I want to create, what do I want to start balancing, and how will my structure look. It stretched my mind, opened my thinking, made me think outside of the box." - Joseph Nyabwari, Training Lead with Kenya Play
Case Study: Co-design Professional Development Series
We are co-creating a series of professional development workshops for teachers to promote tinkering and creative educational practices in Brazil.
Some research questions we have:
→ How can documentation be used to make learning and tinkering more visible?
→ How can we encourage teachers to co-create tinkering activities rather than simply following "recipes"?
→ How can we model facilitation practices that promote active, creative, and student-centered learning?
This project is made possible through the generous support of: