After experiencing success with our school’s Makerspace, we set out on a mission to expand outdoors. Participants in this session will get a view of what our Outdoor Makerspace looks like, what it means to students, the steps it took to get there, and gain insight on how to create your own school’s Outdoor Makerspace. Our Outdoor Makerspace is a space for all students. In working with the demands of our transient overseas military children, it was essential that our Outdoor Makerspace met the needs of this diverse population. From planning, to development, and through reflection, accessibility to all students was a core tenet.
Participants in this session will learn new ways to integrate technology through the use of an Outdoor Makerspace. They will know how to expand open-ended learning opportunities into a STEAM-focused outdoor learning environment that encourages collaboration and allows for development through the engineering design process.
Participants will be able to learn about the steps taken to expand Makerspace outdoors and see the impact that this had on the students. They will see how an idea to get students more time outside turned into a space where students explore, examine, and develop new ideas. They will see how groups in our military community contributed to the success of our Outdoor Makerspace through donations, purchases of equipment, and volunteering. They will take away new ideas proven to work with students in a K-4 school with a successful Outdoor Makerspace. They will see how teachers with varying levels of technology skills promote technology integration in outdoor learning.
Participants will be introduced to specific skills such as the use of task cards in an Outdoor Makerspace. Participants will also learn the role of teacher scaffolding to encourage student learning while allowing student choice to guide exploration. Thematic units that can be successfully integrated in an Outdoor Classroom will be readily available for participants to incorporate in their own Outdoor Classroom for students to explore further.
Participants will see how educational challenges such as limited outdoor time, excessively active students, and larger class sizes can benefit from the use of an Outdoor Classroom. Ideas to help gain support of teachers and administration in developing an Outdoor Makerspace will be shared.
Participants will see how the project-based learning model was used to develop tasks and real-world applications in the Outdoor Makerspace. Students are engaged in projects that are personally meaningful through critical thinking, organic collaboration, and creativity. Students are able to take design risks and explore the natural world through technology that is not available to them indoors. Participants will see how this learning model in the Outdoor Makerspace generates a magical energy and excitement among the students.
Participants will see how data obtained from parent surveys and teacher collaborations helped guide and direct future growth of our Outdoor Makerspace. By looking at student reflections and anecdotal records from teachers, participants will see evidence of student learning and growth through the integration of outdoor open-ended learning experiences. From feedback from visiting coaches looking to integrate an Outdoor Makerspace at their own school, participants will see how others in the STEAM field hope to replicate similar learning opportunities for their students.
As a visitor you can view up to two presentations per month after that you will be required to subscribe to 21st Century Learning Conference
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