I recently had the opportunity to work with a kindergarten class from the Environmental Charter School. We had a partnership with them that created a residency for two of our teaching artists to visit the school to plan and co-teach lessons. Nick and I were asked to help with the first grade and a kindergarten classroom. Nick helped the first grade work on inventions and circuitry and I joined the kindergarten to help explore simple machines.
Along with our visits to the classrooms, the school was also given the chance to come to the Museum and expand their learning. Jen, the kindergarten teacher, and I came up with a challenge for her students to work on. We asked the students to design a contraption that would move a ping pong ball from oneplace to another without touching it.
The day the students visited the Museum was great. They were able to work on their design challenge in MAKESHOP and explore our exhibits to see simple machines, such as pulleys and inclined planes, at work. The Museum is full of simple machines.
I had a blast working with these students. They really got to experience simple machines by actually using them to solve a problem. They also had to work as a team to accomplish their goal. These kinds of workshops that expand upon classroom learning are really what make MAKESHOP special.
Above is a video I made of simple machines in action at the Museum. I used this video when I visited the classroom the day after their Museum visit. Being able to visit the classroom several times and having the students visit the Museum was a real treat. Check back on Thursday to read another post about my visits to their classroom.