Low-Cognition Making

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2017 World Maker Faire. This was my first year and the faire was amazing, hot, and completely overwhelming. I attended in my capacity as Director of Diversity in STEM and my intent was to look for ways to incorporate more art into my STEM programming (STEAM anyone?). I have incorporated a lot of projects inspired by the Maker Movement into my lessons. Unfortunately, I have come to realize that these projects weren’t cognitively demanding. If students followed the instructions, they would end up with some pretty cool projects that they could not explain or repeat.

So now my task is to find ways to incorporate some of the amazing ideas I saw at the Maker Faire in away that is non-formulaic and incorporates constructivist practices. Here are some of the resources I’m using as I rethink STEM programming.

Maker Ed is an organization provides resources in the form of professional development, an online community, projects, and lesson plans that incorporate maker practices into learner-led education. There is a strong focus on building on students’ funds of knowledge and intrinsic motivation.

http://sylviamartinez.com/ Sylvia Martinez is a STEM educator and researcher who focuses on constructivist maker and engineering curriculums. Her blog links to a lot of articles and other resources about maker education (including her book).

FabLearn is a research collaborative based at Stanford University. Their research focuses on assessment, pedagogy, and socio-cultural factors in K-12 maker education.


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