Every time children create a project they are consciously engaging in constructing a public entity (e.g., an artifact, document, or artistic exploration). This entity represents a piece of the children themselves—their thoughts, their feelings, their adventures, and their learning. Whatever part of them which materializes in this process, children can then share with others. Engaging in a community with whom they can share projects—as well as the experience of creating these projects—is a critical aspect of project-based learning, which not only adds a depth of understanding but also illustrates to the student the power and importance of sharing ideas and work with others.
Now, presenting work to a community is a skill that we can teach children. And one way we support the development of this skill is providing opportunities for the children to present their work to a community outside of the school. We are to happy to announce that for the second time our students have applied to the Fablearn Conference (this time at Columbia University). And their paper got accepted.
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR STUDENTS!!
During the application process, our children reflected on what they thought was important to share regarding their project experience. They checked their documentation, wrote about it and submitted it. Now they are getting ready to present and demo their projects with a larger community.
Here’s the abstract of their paper:
“At the school, we worked with a professional maker from New York University, David. We made different projects: a piano, an interactive coral reef, and an interactive part of the ocean. We created it as part of our personal projects and as part of a class where David was a teacher. We learned how to work with people that are not teachers and we learned how to think of ideas for a project, how to make motors work and how a breadboard works. It is important to work with professional makers because they have a lot of expertise in what they do. We think we can learn even from people that are not just in schools. Also teachers in the school don’t know everything, so people outside the school can help. It was a challenge for us when someone from outside the school works with us, but we like the challenge. This experience is important because it can motivate other schools to bring makers from outside the school to help create personal projects or teach classes.”
We are looking forward to listening to the community feedback and check out all the cool projects the other children, educators, and researchers will present!