Activities that encourage students to take objects apart, put them back together and solve problems through invention are the kind of hands-on learning that sticks. Children of all ages need time to tinker.
Thomas Edison once said you need "a pile of junk" and imagination to invent. By the early 1990s, education departments in museums, such as New Jersey's Liberty Science Center, offered "take apart" experiences based on piles of technological castoffs. If Edison were alive today, he would have loved education's growing emphasis on hands-on education that combines science, technology, engineering, art and math or STEAM, which is part of the back-to-invention makerspace movement.
Heating Up Creativity in STEAM Labs
Today, thousands of schools from the elementary level through college have 3D printers, which use computer-generated designs as working drawings to mold objects from plastics, powders, resins and other materials
See how zSpace transforms STEAM labs from workspaces for snipping, gluing, plugging together to virtual reality science labs. Wearing lightweight glasses and using pen-like digital styluses, students click on, rotate, take apart and reassemble holographic images.
The objects almost appear touchable, as if you are holding them in your hands. The images range from anatomically correct illustrations of the human heart and lungs to objects the students have designed for production on 3-D printers. zSpace for education is aligned to state education standards and ships with lesson plans on subjects such as the comparative evolution of bird beaks and feet.
This gives teachers the opportunity to cover required content while also familiarizing students with a tool for creativity that allows imagination to take wing.