With lots of ready to assemble kits available around why one more kit for the students? Though assembling these kits is enjoyable activity, how much students really learn from this needs to be examined. Kits that are designed and manufactured to fit well and work well leaves really little for the students to do. Essentially what they learn out of such kits is to learn ‘How to assemble?’ the given kit.
Our team realized that there is far more learning potential in such kits – if only they are designed and presented in a different way. It can foster problem solving and decision making skills, initiate engineering design thinking, learn about how technologies take shape and also give practical platform to use elementary mathematics in their models. We have designed these kits and manuals with a view of integrated S.T.E.M. approach and to nurture High Order Thinking in students
It is a great challenge to induce students into high order thinking mode. High Order Thinking, unlike other subjects, cannot be taught as subjects like physics or history. It requires an environment to set student into thinking deeply on the matter at hand.
Makers kits are perfect tools at the hands of teachers/parents/ mentors to induce high order thinking among their students. They are not kits just waiting to be ‘assembled as per instructions’. On the contrary they have enough of elements for the students to learn and reflect upon the science principles, manipulate the parts in kit as they feel appropriate for end result, they also have a scope for testing and improving their models and learners can undertake as many iterations as required to achieve result.
The teacher/ parent/mentor has an important role to play in this exercise. The manual for teachers(included in the kit) is a complete lesson plan. It provides all required information on how the learning be guided with help of this kit. It also includes indicative questions and suggested line of inquiry teaching/learning. This learning process gives students, an ample insight into how S.T.E.M. integrated approach helps in creating new gadgets, as well as they go through a valuable exercise in high order thinking.