Posts

5 Fun-Filled Winter Activities to Foster Learning and Engagement


Guest Post by Harper Reid

 

Winter can sometimes feel dreary, but there’s plenty of fun to be had! The cold climate is an excellent opportunity for kids to explore more fun and exciting STEAM projects. These activities are available no matter the season, and kids are free to enjoy doing them wherever they are. With the emphasis on play, and having as much fun as possible, kids can make the most out of them as a learning experience. With that said, here are five fun-filled activities for your kids to enjoy!

 

1. Supercooling Liquids – Science

It’s common to show water boiling into steam to demonstrate states of matter because the slow process of water freezing into ice is rather boring. What if it wasn’t? Try Supercooling your water, or any other liquids you want to experiment with.

  • Place an unopened bottle of water or whatever liquid you have in the freezer (purified water works best).
  • Leave it undisturbed for around two and a half hours (the time may vary depending on your freezer). Check to see if it is still liquid. If it’s frozen, you will have to repeat this process and lower the duration.
  • Gently remove it from the freezer, take care not disturb it too much as you remove the lid.
  • Give it a quick shake, or pour it onto a piece of ice. Watch instant crystallisation before your eyes!

2. Arduino Programming – Technology

Kids have the best opportunity when it comes to learning to code. Small, cheap and portable work stations like Arduinos provide the chance to practice and explore all manners of projects.

  • Order an Arduino electronic platform. Most are available online or with electronic retailers.
  • Organise a fun, exciting and productive coding project. There are many resources online to help find inspiration.
playingwithbricks.png

Image Source: Unsplash

3. Building with Lego – Engineering

Lego is a fantastic way to engage kids in creative projects that can challenge their skills in planning and problem-solving. There are countless amounts of pre-fab kits to build, but buying the general-purpose lego bricks is ideal for making whatever you want.

  • Set a challenge to build a certain structure, such as a tower or bridge.
  • Draw a plan, write what bricks are involved in building it and why.
  • Work in groups or solo to build it, and test its integrity so that new things can be learned about the process of building.

4. Mosaic Pictures – Art

For many kids, drawing is the common alternative when left inside or without a chance to play outside. Mosaics are a great way to exercise the creative freedom of making pictures, but with the added inspiration found in all the coloured tile pieces available.

  • Brainstorm ideas for a cool Mosaic picture.
  • Take the time to collect all the weird and wonderful tile pieces needed to make the right picture.
  • Have fun!

5. Fibonacci Craft – Mathematics

The amazing world of math is not always appreciated in its normal form. It takes a creative visual project to demonstrate just how our world is based on the rules of mathematics. Art and craft projects based on the Fibonacci sequence make great representations.

  • Grab a good compass, a pencil and all the craft material you may think you’ll need to make amazing Fibonacci art
  • There are plenty of online resources and tutorials to show you what is possible to make.
  • Match up your art with the sequence of numbers, showing the progression of the sequence.

 

All of these activities are great for winter and any other season where you have the time. Go out there, learn and have fun!

 

 

Author bio:

Harper grew up on books and board games, from the silly and fun to the clever and challenging! When not busy writing and meeting deadlines, she and her friends love to play Scrabble or Scattergories. Get to know more about Harper through her written pieces on Harper Reid. 

Five Top MakerEd / EdTech Tools to Boost STEAM Education at Home!

MakerBolder wins EdTech Grant from Eduporium

MakerBolder was honored to receive Eduporium’s EdTech Grant to support our upcoming Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest.  You can read more about the Grant HERE.  We love the way Eduporium is supporting in-home and in-classroom STEAM Education (and you will, too!).  Below is an article from the Eduporium team that shines a light on awesome tools and toys that are both fun and educational.  Enjoy!

By Andy Larmand, Eduporium

 

The Eduporium team is on a mission to provide educators and innovative community leaders with technology that helps students develop crucial STEM skills through active learning and hands-on experiences. Eduporium also offers a monthly grant program, through which they award $500 worth of EdTech to deserving educational institutions and organizations.

MakerBolder was chosen as Eduporium’s January grant recipient and selected Ozobot robots to give out at their annual Rocky Mountain STEAM event! Ozobot’s are fantastic STEAM tools that allow children to take part in hands-on learning and help build a strong foundation of 21st century skills, including coding.

Check out some of the most popular MakerEd tools for enhancing STEAM education.

  • 3Doodler: This 3D printing pen combines some of the most exciting and important elements of STEAM education in engineering and 3D design. It is both a 3D printer and a pen meaning that kids can use it to draw objects in three dimensions! One of their pens is designed for students as young as 6 years old and the other is suitable for students in middle school and up. They are both completely safe for children and include various fun filaments for printing.
  • littleBits: These electronic modules snap together easily via their individual magnetic connection and each has a color-coded function.

    LittleBits tools can be pieced together in thousands of ways to give people of all ages the opportunity to “iterate” their EdTech creations!

    The different Bits include inputs, outputs, wires, power supplies, and more. As students build inventions with them, they learn that it’s not possible to have a functioning output without an input and it’s not possible to activate their circuits without power, eventually progressing to building circuits they can control with code.

  • MaKey MaKey: The MaKey MaKey uses the conductivity found within everyday objects and inside the human body to turn any conductive object into an interactive touchpad. Students can attach a conductive object to the MaKey MaKey board, “ground” themselves by holding one of the kit’s jumper wires in their hand, and activate the conductive object by touching it while holding the wire in their hand since they too are conductors of electricity!
  • MakeDo Packs: These maker-focused tools allow kids to invent and build with cardboard! Students can optimize their inventions with easy-to-use pieces, like reusable screws, tools, and saws, which are all plastic and enab

    MakeDo EdTech kits expand creative problem solving.

    le students to anchor cardboard construction projects. Each of MakeDo’s kits promote creative thinking and inventive problem solving in a fun way.
    KEVA Planks are small, rectangular wooden blocks kids can strategically use to build all sorts of structures. Not only are they able to be creative and design buildings and bridges, they also learn the fundamentals of engineering along the way. With KEVA, students are challenged to create sound structures that can support themselves, teaching them important design and engineering principles in the process.

To discover more MakerEd tools for enhancing engagement and inspiring learning by making, check out the Eduporium website or reach out to info@eduporium.com. And, be sure to encourage kids to use hands-on learning to unlock new levels of inventiveness, creativity, and ingenuity as they build future-ready skills!

Dr. Tony Wagner, Author, Innovator, Educator

Dr. Tony Wagner – STEAM Fest Keynote Speaker on April 30th at Boulder Fairgrounds

Dr. Tony Wagner, Author, Innovator, Educator

Dr. Tony Wagner, author and innovator, will be the keynote speaker at STEAM Fest 2016

Dr. Tony Wagner has been shaking up education (and parenting), for years.  His six books, including bestselling Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap, now in its Second Edition, are printed in over 14 languages and have sold millions of copies around the world.

He was recently the Strategic Education Advisor for a major new education documentary, “Most Likely to Succeed,” and co-authored the book by the same name with Ted Dintersmith.  Dr. Wagner joins us at Rocky Mountain STEAM Fest to expose us all to ideas about how we can prepare our children (and ourselves), to be more creative and capable in the Innovation Era.

Dr. Wagner’s Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship

In his work as Expert in Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab, Dr. Wagner asserts that there are seven survival skills that we all need to not just succeed, but actually thrive in the Innovation Era.  These include(1):

  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
  • Collaboration Across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oran and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination

America is caught between a “rock and a hard place” according to Dr. Wagner, because we need new skills to be successful in our careers. But more and more, students are not graduating from our schools with these skills.  What’s more, they are motivated to learn differently as a result of growing up in the “Net Generation.”  Our schools have not changed as quickly as our students have.

What Motivates the Net Generation?

Many things are different for a student that has been raised with instant access to information. The Net Generation has also shopped with stores like Amazon.com – where they are treated personally and are “served” relevant products based on their shopping behaviors.

Young people have come to expect a personalized experience in all interactions.  They are also accustomed to being able to explore areas that they are interested in through independent exploration. They surf YouTube, find special-interest sites, and connect to other people that share their interests.

This web of connections is ever growing and changing.  Young people are exposed to new tools every day and they are not intimidated by the rapid change in their world.  They want to learn from their peers, but don’t necessarily respect authority.  Their best learning often happens outside a traditional classroom.

What’s Next for Education? How can it Keep Up?

author, achievement gap

Three of Dr. Wagner’s six internationally bestselling books.

Dr. Wagner’s specific prescriptions for adapting education systems include a fresh look at critical topics to zero in on developing the seven survival skills mentioned above.  He advocates for activity-based (also known as project-based or problem-based) learning which increases classroom discussion and engagement, and often deepens learning.

The courses suggested, “aim not to draw students into a discipline, but to bring the disciplines into students’ lives… in ways that link the arts and sciences with the 21st century world that students will face and the lives they will lead after college.” (2)

Join us for Dr. Tony Wagner’s Presentation

Saturday, April 30th at 2pm

Your ticket to STEAM Fest includes admission to Dr. Wagner’s presentation.

Purchase tickets to STEAM Fest HERE.  Seating at Dr. Wagner’s presentation is limited and is first-come, first-served.  Arrive early to ensure your seat.

 

(1) Dr. Tony Wagner, Copyright 2010. http://www.slideshare.net/thinkglobalschool/tony-wagner-nais-presentation-11351911
(2) Harvard General Education Homepage: http://www.generaleducation.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria