Projects, Failure, Prizes, and Scratch Day

It’s been a busy fall! We’ve started a new project with Portfolio School, begun to design the playful construction game for the PFACS grant, and co-hosted the NYC Scratch Day with the Logo Foundation! Nathan also had the opportunity to participate on a panel for the TC STEM Symposium discussing “Building Resilience by Learning from Failure in STEM Spaces” with Chris Emdin and Xiaodong Lin. You can find the panel discussion here at the 1:53:00 mark.

Nathan was also recently awarded the 2017 Strage Prize! The prize recognizes innovative work published by a Teachers College faculty member through the production of a short documentary. This year Nathan won the award for his paper Leveraging Cultural Values and “Ways of Knowing” to Increase Diversity in Maker Activities. Watch the video below and let us know what you think!

New projects, New Papers, New People!

While we’ve been slow to post news that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! This past year the Snow Day Learning Lab completed a second and third implementation of the Bots for Tots project, conducted new research on Particles!, built new board games, iterated CodeStitch, and began researching links between the practices of expert coders and knitters! Members of the lab presented findings on a variety of projects at FabLearn, IDC, SIGCSE, AERA, and other venues in the US and South America! We also published new articles in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, the Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the International Journal of Designs for Learning, and the Journal of Interactive Learning Research! Unfortunately, we’re also had to say goodbye (and congratulations!) to Caitlin Davey and Rocio Elena Conde Fuentes who recently graduated.

For the 2017-2018 school year we’re excited to announce two new BIG projects this fall. The first project, Formative Assessments for Computer Science in NYC, is a three-year collaboration with SRI, the University of Wisconsin Madison, Georgia Tech, and CSNYC, funded by the NSF STEM+C. In this project, we will be designing and studying new constructionist tools to provide formative feedback to students and teachers as they engage in early computer science experiences. Read more about this exciting project at NSF.

We’re also beginning a new collaboration with Portfolio School. Portfolio School is a project-based school that engages students from 5 – 11 in an entirely student-centered educational design. This collaboration offers an exciting opportunity for members of the Snow Day Learning Lab to document students’ practices and learning in a fully constructionist curriculum.

In addition to new projects, we are also excited to welcome a new cohort of students to the lab! Check them out on the Team page!

CIECTI symposium
Team at IDC 2017
Sam Presenting at AERA

Snow Day at IDC, FabLearn, and WiPSCE

The Snow Day Learning Lab has had a busy summer and fall beginning new projects and presenting work across the globe! Nathan presented findings from the first Bots for Tots implementation to an international group of researchers this June at the Interaction and Design Conference held in Manchester, UK. The paper for this presentation can be found on the publications page.

This summer, Sam and Nathan engaged in co-designed with a teacher partner to create a new version of the Bots for Tots project which is being implemented in two new locations and contexts throughout the Fall. We’re looking forward to gaining new insight into how “building for others” is taken up by diverse learners at an all girls private school and a local after-school maker club.

In addition to Bots for Tots news, two Snow Day doctoral students have been presenting their own work to rave reviews in the Computer Science and Maker communities! Marleen won a coveted “Best Presentation” award for her work-in-progress paper presented at WiPSCE in Münster, Germany. This paper explores designs that engage learners in the practices of comparing and contrasting programmatic solutions in her game CodeStitch. Sam presented her work on Little Builders at FabLearn 2016 at Stanford University. Her presentation highlighted the value of leveraging human-centered design for engaging young makers in highly personal and meaningful constructionist projects. Both presentation papers can be found on the publications page!

Nathan Presenting
Marleen Presenting
Sam Presenting

Snow Day Learning Lab's Newest Alumni

As the academic year comes to a close we congratulate Snow Day Learning Lab members Anna Pizarro, Ben Riggs, Sawaros Thanapornsangsuth, Evin Watson, and Fang Yi on completing their Master of Arts in Instructional Technology and Media!.

This year saw many exciting developments in the lab including the first run of our Bots for Tots program and the first semester of the Tools and Toys for Knowledge Construction course at Teachers College. We also initiated new collaborative efforts around CS education as well as the design and development of novel construction and production tools. Snow Day members developed a number of new projects including Space Age Scavengers (a board game for tinkering with mathematic principles), E.T. (a robotics kit for exploring empathy), the GoGo Board Toolkit (a storybook and kit that allows parents and children to co-construct with microcontrollers), CodeStitch (a digital game for "coding" knitting patterns), and many others!

And this summer Snow Day members will be presenting work at various conferences and starting a handful of new projects. If you find yourself in NYC, come join us in the lab!

Snow Day 2016

Snow Day in Bangkok? Constructionism 2016

Holbert and Thanapornsangsuth traveled to Bangkok Thailand to present a variety of work conducted by the Snow Day Learning Lab at Constructionism 2016. Holbert presented a poster on early findings from the Bots for Tots projects and participated in a workshop with Carina Girvan, Celia Hoyles, Chronis Krynigos, and Richard Noss on research methods for studying learning in constructionist environments/design. Thanapornsangsuth presented a poster on her GoGo Board storybook toolkit as well as a poster on her work with Little Builders engaging Thai children in engineering and design.

For highlights of the conference be sure to check out the twitter stream using the conference hashtag (#constructionism2016) or the official conference account (@construct2016) written by our own Thanapornsangsuth!

constructionism 2016