list 6 sequences
assignment Level : Introductive
label STEM
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 6 hours in total

About the content

The Tinkering Fundamentals course will offer educators and enthusiasts an opportunity to develop a practice of tinkering and making. We see tinkering as a serious endeavor—one that is generalizable across content and especially good at interweaving disciplines in a way that leads to complex projects and individualized learning opportunities. Tinkering has recently been introduced into the educational field as a potential driver of creativity, excitement, and innovation in science learning. It is seen by many as an effective means to engage in exploring STEM concepts, practices and phenomena. Tinkering typically blends the high and low tech tools of science along with a strong aesthetic dimension that supports children’s (and adults) self expression. For over a decade, the Exploratorium has been developing science-rich tinkering activities for both children and adults. We see tinkering as a fun yet serious endeavor—spanning many disciplines and content areas and fostering connections between art, science, and technology. Learners follow their own path to understanding by investigating tools and materials and exploring questions that interest them. This opens up a wide range of possible answers rather than any “right” one, particularly for teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects in the classroom. This course centers on circuit-related activities, which offer a wealth of opportunities for thinking through making. In this course, we won’t just show you how we develop tinkering activities; we’ll also delve into why. We’ll focus on three important aspects: activity design around specific materials, facilitation strategies, and environmental organization. We’ll also share some guiding principles and learning indicators we’ve developed that can help you integrate tinkering into your elementary and middle-school science program. Whether you’re new to making or a seasoned tinkerer, we hope this course will help you take the next step! OUR APPROACH TO TEACHING This is a hands-on workshop, not a lecture-based class. Participation is essential! We want everyone to be making and tinkering together: trying things out, asking questions, sharing ideas, and reflecting together as a community. This is a wonderful chance to tinker and learn alongside people from all over the world and from all walks of life, so don’t be shy! PLEASE NOTE: Although this course will not have active instructor participation, we have put a great deal of effort towards creating a supportive space that encourages exploration. We’ll give you a few ways to get started; prompt you to share your own observations and experience as learners, designers and facilitators; and hopefully spark interesting conversations and discoveries along the way. While it’s not a requirement, we encourage you to take this class with a friend or colleague or meet with other people in your area: having support or doing activities with others will enhance your experience and help you stay engaged. REQUIRED COURSE MATERIALS You will need several tools and materials to do weekly course activities. Pre-bundled materials are available from the Exploratorium store at www.artoftinkering.com. Please obtain all materials as soon as possible, well in advance of when you will need them in the course. Be sure to allow extra time for shipping and, if you are outside the U.S., for customs. In some cases, certain items may require assembly. Please refer to the Resources section to review this course’s activity guides.

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Syllabus

Week One: Introduction to Tinkering
What is tinkering? Is it different from engineering or other forms of making?

Week Two: Initial Explorations
What better way to learn about tinkering than to try it! We invite you to start by playing with circuit boards.

Week Three: Learning Dimensions
This week, it's scribbling machines! We'll also investigate how tinkering maps on to different indicators of learning.

Week Four: Tinkering Tenets and Personal Expression
Try your hand with paper circuits and sewn circuits, and explore the aesthetic dimensions of tinkering, including key design elements and basic principles.

Week Five: Coding, Computation and Facilitation Strategies
A look at the high-tech side of tinkering, plus strategies for facilitation and deep engagement.

Week Six: Putting It All Together
How will you take what you've learned in this class and apply it to your own life? We'll help you come up with a detailed action plan and get feedback from other students in the class.
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Instructors

Mike Petrich
Director, Informal Learning Center

Karen Wilkinson
Director, Tinkering Studio

Luigi Anzivino
Professional Development Lead
Tinkering Studio

store

Content designer

Exploratorium
Exploratorium
assistant

Platform

Coursera

Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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