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Episode 2: Tinkering and STEAM Learning


Tinkering and STEAM Learning

The second episode of the Tinkering Together Podcast explores how tinkering can support STEAM thinking and mindsets as well as social-emotional dispositions.
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Welcome to the second episode of Tinkering Together, a podcast miniseries from the Exploratorium's Tinkering Studio in San Francisco, California.

I'm your host Anya Kamenetz, a journalist and author who's very curious about how children learn. And over these three episodes, we're exploring tinkering from different angles. Now, in this podcast when we talk about tinkering, we mean a pedagogy, a particular approach to teaching and learning, and it's for learners of all ages. One of the many places tinkering is practiced is at the Tinkering Studio, located inside the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception on San Francisco's beautiful waterfront, the Embarcadero. Last time, we went over the basic parts of the tinkering process. First, issuing an invitation to students to explore a scientific concept — maybe like balance or light and shadow. Second, opening up the focus exploration, so entering a space that's been thoughtfully and intentionally prepared with materials that have a high potential for exploring the concept at hand. Now children play, they generate their own questions, they cooperate to solve problems, and adults balance encouragement with stepping back. And then — this next part is especially for practitioners — documenting, reflecting and ultimately relaunching into a new cycle. And so in this episode, we're going to talk a little bit more about the tinkering classroom and how this pedagogy can not only be a way to explore science concepts, but also enhance children's social and emotional learning.

Speakers: Anya Kamenetz, Ihuoma Ihuekwumere, Paula Hooper.

To read the full transcript, please click on the button above.