Curiosity Path : Learning with kids, teachers, schools and cultural centers¶
|8-18 years old||Schools, Science Museums...||Nurture future talents|
This path addresses primary and secondary school female students aged 8-18. Developed as formal, informal and after school activity in close collaboration with schools and science or design museums, it allows to find and nurture future talents as well as create aspirations, trust and joyful moments for kids.
Formats of the Curiosity Path¶
The Curiosity Path can be developed in diverse formats, and it is possible to customize the tested one with new ideas according to the context.
1: One Day Workshop¶
One-day workshop are short activity ranging from 2h to 8h hours. They generally focus in one type of making activity and work on various skills, both technical and soft ones. It is the smallest unit of activity in shemakes. Most of the activities are described as workshops (see folder "workshops" for more details)
2: Series of workshops¶
Best way to run the Curiosity path is to pick up a serie of workshops that you will run in your local context, cooperating with a school or a museum. It is about framing the interests and skills to be developped, looking at the workshop description and design your own serie of activities. They can last from 2 days to a Week or even be framed in longer periods of time - (ie - each tuesday of october..., some days integrated in one trimester during the class of "arts" or "technologies")
Clubs consist of a series of learning activities off the main courses, like afterschool activities for kids. Rather than playing football in a club, kids can join regular activity inside the lab.
Labs can create after school programs for kids in cooperation with their schools and local public organizations to bring them complementary skills and help them to actively create their own vocation. As an example, Fab Lab Leon has created the [Poderosas program[(https://www.instagram.com/poderosasleon/)].
4: Train the teachers programs¶
Those types of programs consist in bringing new skills and contents to teachers so they can then share it in their pedagogical practices with kids and also provide feedback about the development of the activities in special education centres. By dialoguing with teachers and inviting them to practice activities, it is possible to establish a more appropriate approach for children and to transform them into practitioners. Fab Lab Barcelona has been using this approach for several years now within their Future Learning Unit and have initiated this year the program Remix The School, one pilot project for cooperation between creative hubs and educational institutions with the goal of promoting transversal and creative skills transfer.
Demonstrations are short activities to showcase a practice of making. This format is great for open events, as starter activities and when it is not allowed for people to touch/use materials ( as it was the case during the pandemic) Demonstrations can occurs in one station, showing only one practice or can run in many stations to showcase a large diversity of practices. It is possible then to optimise the experience according to the timing we have available for the demonstration. For instance, you can make groups rotate from one station to one other with various facilitators and a good time keeper. Demonstration are often combined with exhibition's stand. It is well seen to showcase materials and samples generated during the program to support dissemination, have a tactile experience, and attract people to join the maker communities.
Develop parallel cultural program for kids during exhibitions¶
Exhibitions are made for sharing perspective and knowledge on specific topics or practice. Cultural centres used to set up a program of activities in relation to the content of the exhibition. Cooperation with labs can be established not only to develop contents for exhibition but also to run parallel activities adapted for kids. Fab Lab Barcelona has run an exhibition with Materfad and the Design Museum of Barcelona on biomaterials and run a specific workshop for kids from a local school. (link) ONLF has collaborated with the University of Geneva and The Museum of Natural History about microorganisms and textile (La collaboration être humain et micro-organisms : pour une industrie textile plus durable)”, including a mini-expo, a 2 days workshop for adults and 4 workshops for children. (link) Fab Lab León has collaborated with the Light Museum of Ponferrada (LEON) during the exhibition faire of the summer course: “Cultura Maker - III Edición; Innovando en Tiempos Difíciles”, with a mini expo and a workshop for kids
Cooperation can be also established to create curiosity moments during holidays, as it is a moment for children to get into new things and explore activities they want to deepen. ONLF collaborated with the Geneva Public Library and Passeport Vacances, a summer programme supported by the Geneva district, that selects innovative and fun activities for children and teen-agers, including Voodoo Lapin.
Exhibitions of samples produced by the lab during the program are a good way to showcase the information.
Join us in a glocal activism for new pedagogical approaches in schools¶
- Get inspired by the Hypatia toolkit to overcome gender stereotypes
- Follow projects emphasizing more active pedagogical approaches Fab Kids, ZDI , Scopes df, Poderosas, System 2020, Scientix, OpenScienceHub, UN for youth, Steamcat, EU Contest for Young Scientists, 11F, DOIT-EUROPE
Tips for the Curiosity Path¶
- Test the activity beforehand with the team of facilitators
- When software is needed, check that it is updated. Send a list of the software that will be used so that participants can install it before the activity.
- When machines are needed, check that they are working
- Prepare the activity in advance, prepare the kits of materials and tools for each participant and some extra kit for backup, and also prepare the instructor’s model to show it to the participants.
- Use the PowerPoint as a step by step guide for the participants
- Set time for discussion
- Comply with the established schedule
- Let time for discussions off-topic. Plan it after the activity
- Dedicate time to install software on personal Laptops. Send instructions to the participants prior to the activity
GENERAL TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND IN WORKSHOPS FOR KIDS¶
When working with children it is highly recommended to plan the activity in great detail. Some of aspects to keep in mind when working with kids are:
- Do expect the unexpected: facilitators must think quickly and be prepared to adapt and react to everything.
Each kid is different: facilitators should be prepared to adopt different strategies and behaviors according to the kids. If something doesn't work for a particular child, try to figure out why, change and test another way.
Kids are active, all children are active in one way or another and that's exactly how it should be. Thus, strategies need to be designed to understand this constant movement of children.
Working with children is a lifelong learning experience and educators have a lot of responsibility in nurturing the next generation of talent
Train your team¶
Create your team of facilitators and organize some testing sessions and brief meetings for coordinating with facilitators.
Before the workshop¶
Prepare in advance:
Send the families the consents for minors (data and video).
- Review that the needed software in each computer is updated
- Book the machines if necessary
- Models of the object that they are going to make
- Scissors, cutter, pencils, rulers..
- Consider to have scissors for left handed people
Prepare the specific materials needed for the workshop, if needed
Plan the agenda for the workshop
Here is an example of Agenda of a 2 hours workshop:
|17:10-17:25||Presentation||Explain why this event is held, which is the Lab where the workshop will take place and which is shemakes that sponsors the activity|
|17:25-17:30||Brief||Enter the event: Describe how the event will be in its entirety, and explain briefly the activity|
|17:30-17:45||Developing||Following the Power Point step by step guide|
|17:45-18:10||Design||Digital design if necessary|
|18:10-18:30||Fabrication||Using of the Digital Fabrication machines|
|18:50-19:00||Closing||Open Q&A, reflection|
At the beginning of the workshop¶
- Check that all the kids have the data consents signed by an adult (parents or tutor)
- Keep special care for those kids that the data consent is not signed. No pictures of the kid can be taken in this case
During the workshop¶
- When possible, use a presentation as a step by step guide.
- For a better understanding of the activity, it is recommended to have samples of each part of the process
- If possible, consider to involve another person with the role of “observer”, to take pictures and to observe the reactions of the kids (frustrated, absent-minded, bored, annoying…). When the instructor is focused on an activity, these important details can be lost.
Due to covid restrictions, some of the usual ways of working with children must be adapted, in terms of materials and class layout
- Participants are not allowed to share materials. As a solution, each participant has a tray with the common materials and hydroalcoholic gel in all the seats.
Covid-19 individual tray containing:
- Scissors (+left handed scissors)
- Wood colour pencils
Participants are not allowed to follow the class in a common group. As a solution, a TV with a tripod and a camera was installed and participants could see the presentation from their seats via videoconference