DML2016 has ended
Back To Schedule
Friday, October 7 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Digital Design and Fabrication for Young Learners Inspired by Low-tech Makerspaces

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Teen and adult makers have been using professional-grade high-tech fabrication tools, including 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, and digital sewing machines, to express themselves and to shape the world around them. Can our youngest learners join in on this fun and innovation? This session will explore how two museum-based Fab Labs, and their partners, are inviting early childhood and elementary-aged children to try digital fabrication technology in order to navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their big ideas into reality. Presenters from the Bay Area Discovery Museum, the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, and FableVision will share lessons learned from prototyping, refining, and evaluating digital fabrication programming and software for early childhood learners and beyond. They will discuss why (with the appropriate facilitation, analog and digital materials, and software) Fab Labs are ideal spaces for developing the creativity, decision making, and interpersonal skills necessary for solving complex future problems.

In designing quality educational experiences for young learners, what affordances are provided in a non-tech environment vs. in a tech-assisted environment? Presenters will dissect this question as they share their experiences developing programming, curricula, and software that allow children to explore and experiment, ideate and iterate. These key engineering and design skills and processes can be measurably developed non-digital maker spaces, and the engagement and learning in such spaces provides insight about the intentional addition of technology for young learners.

Rabiah Mayas, Director of Science and Integrated Strategies at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago brings experience directing and evaluating both the high-tech Wanger Family Fab Lab, which provides advanced fabrication programming to youth, and the Black Creativity Innovation Studio, an analog maker space for younger visitors to experiment and explore ideas through hands-on prototype making, which has provided inspiration for the Fab Lab.

Elizabeth Rood, VP of Education Strategy, and Tristan Schoening, Fab Lab Assistant Manager, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum bring experience prototyping programming in the world's first Early Childhood Fab Lab, a space for children aged 3 to 10 to explore digital fabrication and construction with a variety of materials.

Paul Reynolds, CEO of FableVision, brings experience developing Fab@School Maker Studio, a web-based digital fabrication software that allows students to create machines, 3D models, and pop-ups with tools ranging from scissors to inexpensive 2D cutters and 3D printers; FableVision is collaborating with the Bay Area Discovery Museum to age down this software to be used with early elementary students and teachers.

Offering opportunities for digital fabrication to diverse populations in terms of age, race, and socio-economic status is critical. Technological proficiency is the next opportunity gap, and early exposure to and familiarity with digital tools can help underserved young people bridge this gap. By starting early in life, with the support and participation of their caregivers, these interests, skills, and abilities will follow students through their academic careers and beyond. Presenters will ask the audience how they might bring analog design and digital fabrication to a new audience in their school, program, or community.

avatar for Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds

Author, Cofounder, FableVision and Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, & Creativity
Paul Reynolds, FableVision/Reynolds Center TLCReynolds helped found Boston-based FableVision, which partners with best-in-class organizations to develop original educational media & mobile games designed to move the world to a better place. As Co-Founder of nonprofit Reynolds Center... Read More →

Tristan Schcoening

Fab Lab Specialist, Bay Area Discovery Museum

Friday October 7, 2016 2:00pm - 3:00pm PDT
Pacific Ballroom B