David St. Martin and I shared the ways that we integrate design and tinkering into the existing curriculum at Mark Day School, and the ways that we offer informal opportunities for making, such as during lunch time Open Tinkering for 2nd graders and up, after school classes for kindergarteners and up, and summer programs.
We shared photos and stories about 8th graders designing their own microscopes, 7th and 8th grade elective students building smokeless stoves in collaboration with students at our partner school in South Africa, elective students designing upcycled fashion for our Project Re-Use course while getting feedback from professional clothing designers, 3rd graders building marshmallow catapults to test rapid prototyping skills as part of their IDEA Lab tinkering class, 2nd graders creating anemometers to test wind power in our wind tunnel during their weather unit, kindergarteners in an after school carpentry class learning to saw wood and drill holes, and even more! We also shared the ways in which we bring our strong social emotional learning program into our tinkering projects, through teamwork, positive feedback, and through encouraging creativity and perseverance.
We also talked about our wonderful global partnerships with schools in South Africa, China, and Costa Rica. We've had the pleasure of working with students and teachers from all three schools in our Open Lab as they experienced what it means to tinker.
Students from Mark Day School were on hand to demonstrate pinball machines and electrical circuit blocks and to encourage other kids to further build and to modify the existing designs.