WonderWorld Science workshops are all about giving students the opportunity
to develop their critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving skills
to heighten their awareness and reflection as scientists,
and to cultivate deep enthusiasm for lifelong learning through the making of things

GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sample Workshop: What Makes a Clock Tick?

In our age of pervasive digital technology, understanding the cause and effect of physical mechanisms is a building block we cannot take for granted.

This workshop gives students the chance to explore mechanics by taking apart a clock with the goal of being able to reassemble it at the end. While inside the mechanism of the clock, students will identify the gears, springs, and wheels that work together to make a wind-up clock tick.

made by  動いた。 (Ugoita.)  http://www.ugoita.com/

made by 動いた。(Ugoita.) http://www.ugoita.com/

Sample Workshop: How Can Paper Dance with Magnets?

Electromagnets are at work all around us in the world from door bells and microwaves to ultra-fast Maglev trains.

Taking inspiration from this video, students will design and create an original origami organism and experiment with magnet placement until they get a successfully “dancing” hands-free paper puppet. Building upon this platform, we will then construct an electromagnet to remotely move the origami organisms via switch.

Sample Workshop: What Can Illuminated Design Add to Your Greeting?

Electricity and circuitry are crucial underpinnings of many everyday tools we use in modern living.

Straight from the Exploritorium, birthplace of tinkering, this activity provides a practical and fun application for using and expanding students’ knowledge of circuits and electricity. Students will design and create a circuit-integrated greeting card with conductive tape, battery, and LED(s).

The goal of every workshop is to have students engage with science in authentic ways, through inquiry and imagination, inventing as they construct possible physical solutions to the workshop’s challenge.

Our curriculum is a blend of experience with both high and low tech materials. The tech market is buzzing with new products geared towards getting young kids making electronics, and we are constantly on the lookout for which to incorporate, keen to find those that will give an inviting and demystifying introduction to technology-assisted inventing. Toothpicks and gumdrops, cardboard and tape, wires and LEDs are different means to the same end: giving students the means with which to engineer, design, and innovate. We work with whichever best suits the learning.

We start each workshop with meaningful play. As the curriculum is often delivered afterschool, the “teaching” portion is heavily visual (a slideshow of photographs or a video clip) and/or tactile (building a house of cards, having a balloon “race”) with students getting quickly to the challenge of the project. An essential component of the learning comes from the sharing and reflection at the end of each project. What worked? What didn’t? What next?

Our workshops aim to keep kids wondering well after the session has ended.