Dec 22 2015

Share Your Maker Space Story With the World

I’m looking to gather as much information as possible throughout the globe of how Maker Spaces have the ability to transform howmakerspace we teach and think. After spending the last 27 years traveling the world providing hands-on-minds-on science and STEM teacher training workshops to teachers of all grade levels I have come to the realization that Maker Spaces may hold the key to truly transforming educational systems worldwide. Of course, Maker Spaces are not limited to school-age participants, anyone who has the opportunity to join a local, regional, national or global Maker Space organization has the ability to express their creativity, think critically, communicate and collaborate with others. My goal is to collect as much information from as many Maker Space, and similar type facilities as to how they evolved, the struggles they have faced along the way, as well as success stories, past events, future projects, etc. I will be taking all the information collected and putting together a documentary type movie on the Maker Space movement. My goal is to help individuals and groups interested in starting Maker Spaces see how other groups evolved. I have a vision to see more “Maker Spaces” within all schools, and libraries around the world. If you are interested in sharing your Maker Space stories, photos, audio, video clips etc.. please contact me via the contact form on this website. Upon, completing the contact form, I’ll send you additional information for submitting jpegs, audio, short video clips etc. of your Maker Space.  Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski is also available to provide professional staff development, and consulting on designing, building and maintaining a Maker Space within your school, library, community, and beyond.



Dec 17 2015

Child’s Play Helps Build A Better Brain: Check Out 19 of the World’s Coolest Playgrounds

Scientists have long known that free play is essential in the development of child’s brain. The experience of play changes the connections19 of the worlds coolest playgrounds of the neurons at the front end of your brain, “says Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. “And without play experience, those neurons aren’t changed, “he says.  The free play Pellis is talking about is where children engage in free play without rules, coaches, etc. Whether it’s building sand castles together, tumbling around, etc. the brain builds new circuits in the prefrontal cortex to help it navigate these complex social interactions children experience during free play. Much of the research on the impact of play and brain development comes from research on animal species that engage in social plays. This includes cats, dogs, and most other mammals. A fact worth noting is that countries where children have extended recess in schools tend to have higher academic performance than countries where recess is less. I would imagine the children that get to spend time at the world’s coolest playgrounds brain cells are firing. Check out Talia Avakian’s article in Business Insider on “19 of the World’s Coolest Playgrounds“.