Take aways from last weekends iSTEMed conference in Doha…
From Cesar Harada, “Imagination is the most precious stuff the children have.” Many of the conversations and workshops focused on stimulating students creativity through empathy.
At the conference I attended a workshop with Suzanne Presinal and we were challenged with creating a playground for animals. We first brainstormed different animals we were interested in and then once the group decided on an animal we began to create the playground from paper and recycle bits. As we were building the playground we began to think about what the characteristics of our animal, a meerkat, were and what they would like best. Our playground eventually included a widescreen TV that would play videos of meerkats, because meerkats like to mimic each other as well as hammocks and slides and places for them to climb. Everyone was in charge of different areas and we worked as a team to build a playground that meerkats would enjoy.
There were other workshops that I attended that gave some useful information but the overarching theme from all of them was to begin with empathy to engage the children. I will definitely be paying more attention to appealing to the students empathy side in the future when asking them to design.