Friday, May 1, 2015

Why hands-on?

From planting seeds to constructing fuel cells, we engage kids in hands-on experiences.  Why is this a good way to educate?

Psychologist and education reformer John Dewey proposed that learning through experience, and not by rote, was key to children's intellectual and social development.  We see this dynamic in action as children work together to construct understanding of the world around them and determine how to ask questions and solve problems. 

The efficacy of hands-on learning is obvious: from preschoolers' exploration of growing things - to 6-7's recent STEM Week spent constructing hydrogen fuel cells and creating persuasive presentations for executives at local company Plug Power.  Through taking care of our world, from the simplest understanding of what plants need to thrive, to the nuanced and complex advocacy for how fuel cells and other forms of sustainable energy can be used in areas of humanitarian crisis, children gain a sense of agency and responsibility.

 Education becomes relevant and vital and of course, very interesting.

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