Flex Your Imagination
Middle School Science teacher, Katy Wood, has created a tinkering table in her science lab. This year-long project is the result of an ICE Grant. The tinkering table features rotating activity kits with hands-on manipulatives, things that can be put together, puzzled over, taken apart, or made into new incarnations.
Examples of the kits include Snap Circuits electricity sets, magnets, plant growth experiments, paper airplanes, and K'Nex vehicle design, among others. During January, Middle School was buzzing with Flexeez, simple pieces of bendable plastic with multiple connection points leading to infinite creative possibilities. Students made spheres within spheres, penguins, and ice-cream sundaes topped with cherries.
Tinkering with Flexeez and other materials provide the students with opportunities to have fun while practicing and applying attitudes and skills, like problem solving and collaborating, that will be important in the knowledge-based world of the 21st century and are critical to success in STEM fields.