Have you ever wondered what these myriad bugs are up to, as they busily flit, glide and crawl around on some urgent secret mission? What actually is their daily agenda? If only we could get a sneak peek into their logbooks to glean what’s going on in the secret life of the bugs.
At Tinker Fest, curious children and parents armed with a camera, selfie stick and macro clip-on lenses stepped into the Eco Garden at Science Centre Singapore to seek answers to such questions and more!!!
They had a whale of a time looking for bugs. They used the Macro Clip-On Lenses and captured zoomed in pictures of them and their environments. Nature looks so different up close! They were enthralled by the intricate patterns and designs they discovered.
Once they had a picture that inspired them (which was after many many clicks) they trooped indoors to create bugs of their own. As they got messy with the materials giggling over their creations, something magical took shape.
Empathy – care and compassion is a foundational 21 Century capability, one critical for happiness and success in an increasingly complex, automation-driven world. Our children will need to be skilled at connecting with unsolved, tough-to-solve human and social problems, they will need to collaborate extensively with others, respecting and working with the diverse perspectives that different people bring.
Experiences like the Secret Life of Bugs help in nurturing Empathy. Children reveled in the joy of demystifying the bugs around them and getting to know them more closely. Our little sleuths not just solved a few mysteries but developed a connection with these tiny creatures.
Would you like to unravel such mysteries too? How about visiting the Tinker Fest at Science Centre Singapore? Or simply do-it-yourself at home with your child. All you need is a phone, a selfie stick, a macro clip on lense and some curiosity. Come join the revolution… Tinker and spread the Joy of Learning.
Tinker Fest, organized by Imagin8ors and Tinkering Studio, Science Center, Singapore connects children, parents, educators and makers in a week-long celebration of the joy of learning’ through play, exploration and experimentation. As a part of festival we got an opportunity to have a dialogue with parents on “Raising Joyful Learners“.
The insightful questions thrown into the arena made us pause and think. How do we, as parents, raise motivated, engaged learners who are prepared to conquer unforeseen challenges of tomorrow? How do we make learning joyful and fun for our children? What are the ways to build early foundation for joyful learning?
Our esteemed panelist included-
Joanna Catalano (Head of Agency Relations for Asia Pacific, Google and Board Member of Female Founders) a mother of two who believes thateducation and technology combined will deliver sustained creativity and adaptive problem solving abilities to our children.
Anna Salaman (Executive Director, Playeum) an active champion for creativity in the lives of children. With an extensive background in arts and cultural programming, she has put her passion into practice at ArtScience Museum (Singapore), the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK) and the Discover Story Centre (UK).
Charlie Ang (Venture Investor, Business Futurist, Start Up Promoter) is a “Future Parent” – he raises his two children to be future innovators and entrepreneurs and plans to help other parents do the same.
Ei-Leen Tan (Deputy Director, Physical Sciences Department, Education Programmes Division, Science Centre Singapore) is one half of a pair o’ docs attempting to apply Piagetian principles to a 4 year old child with ideas of her own.
Daniel Tan (Senior Director of Projects & Exhibition Division in the Science Centre Singapore) father of 4 teenage children who encourages hands-on exploration for discovery and learning. He is also instrumental in initiating the development of the Tinkering Studio at the Science Centre.
The session took off with parents tinkering with their children at the various stations set up inside the Tinkering Studio. It was so precious to see the children take the lead with first-time -tinkerer parents.
The session moderator Balaji Ramanujan (President and Co-Founder Imagin8ors), then set the context about the new learning needs driven by a rapidly changing tech enabled world.
Anna Salaman brought forward the power of nurturing “intrinsic motivation” in children. Simple things like using less instructional language when we communicate with child, creating an environment that encourages self-directed exploration (e.g.. having varied types of materials lying around that the child can use), and providing more freedom to the child to set their own learning agenda helps with building the child’s intrinsic motivation.
Joanna Catalano talked about 21 Century skills like curiosity, diversity in approach and perspective, collaboration and motivation which would pave the path for the joyful learners. She believes that technology will play a big role in their lives and there was no separating them from it. It is up to parents to make technology work for us in an active way.
Daniel Tan felt that children should learn because the process brings joy not because of the result or awards that follow. That was the whole idea behind setting up the Tinkering Studio. He strongly emphasised that the knowledge the children gather by themselves, understanding through exploration shall stay with them forever. Maybe they may not understand the science behind it immediately but soon they will be able to connect the dots. Ergo relating better to the principles taught in the classrooms.
Ei-Leen Tan underlined how computers gave children a safe environment to learn new things in novel, interactive ways. But she felt that parents should watch out for – “Is the child programming the computer or is the computer programming the child?” She also shared how letting children create a mess is a necessary part of helping children explore and learn, and touched a chord with the audience when she spoke of the busy lifestyles we parents lead and how it is difficult to put all these principles into action.
Charlie Ang spoke about preparing our children for the future and developing the required skill-sets in them. The skill-sets of an successful individual today will not be relevant in 2030. Our children will be the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow and will use technology to solve problems. He shared how he converts even mundane tasks like shopping trips together into fun challenges and games his daughters and he play, that helps them learn something deeper.
As the talk progressed it became more interactive and parents in the audience chimed in with their views. Lup Wai a homemaker, blogger and mother to two adorable, creative children shared how she bonded with them over housework. While daily chores need to be finished, it need not be just a chore but an opportunity for parent and child to co-work and co-create. Children would find their ways to solve problems they faced, collaborate and develop empathy for their caregivers.
Ajay Sharma shared how he was productively using screen and digital media to learn and bond with his daughter while he traveled. He shared a delightful story of seeing a sunflower plant grow from seed to flower and how his daughter clicked pictures and send it across to him, just so that daddy would know about how their plant was doing.
Susanna Hasenoerhl, mom and founder of the joiceofcooking, spoke how she used sports as a fantastic and joyful medium of learning. She also made an insightful comment on the disconnect between the need to inspire joy in learning, and the rote learning still prevalent across many parts of the education system. The panel spoke of how we parents need to add our voices to this debate and help accelerate change in education.
So many enriching thoughts, ideas and suggestions! As expected if you bring a few parents together you can find solutions for just about anything. Each of our participants had their own strong value systems, perspectives and methodology. But all came together in agreeing on the critical role parents play in nurturing the spark of lifelong learning in children, of inspiring them to find joy in it!
Imagin8ors were on the go again this weekend and we had the delightful opportunity to meet some bright young tinkerers at Monsters Under the Bed. It was a perfect collaboration, where the creative journey of the children did not just end with writing a story. The stories traveled a few more miles and evolved into a Puppet Theater. The art of puppeteering has fascinated all through the ages. The artistry of creating characters, merging them with music and crafting an interesting narrative – the very idea gets creative juices flowing.
This fantastic art not just stimulates imagination and creativity in young minds but also sparks curiosity, collaboration and courage to bring their ideas to light. As they skillfully weave the threads of their narratives, even computational thinking concepts like ‘forming associations’ and ‘sequential thinking’ get honed. All these contribute to a stronger foundation of ’21 Century Capabilities’ that our children need to thrive in todays world.
The children had their markers poised ready to capture their narratives on paper. What came out was not the vanilla “once upon a time” variety but interesting plots with gripping storylines.
Once the story was ready it was time to bring it to life with puppets and props. Some intricate designs and ambitious plans were in motion as the children worked happily to bring it all together.
It was gratifying to see the enthusiasm and focus was not just flowing from the children but also from some very hands-on parents. They worked energetically with their children co-creating and riding on the imagination bus together.
It was inspiring to see the children in action- observing, suggesting, discussing and creating together. There was a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork, as they had a shared experience of the joy of learning.
Full of glee as they covered the distance with their idea from the time it germinated in their head to tangible expressions of it. Now they had the puppets, props, narration in hand and they were raring to put up a show – their very own puppet theater production !!!
And what a production it was as the puppets came alive in their tiny little hands – singing, jumping, talking in the Puppet Theater Land. Many interesting tales slowly enfolded mesmerizing us, entertaining us as the children took the arena.
Like a rocket that takes off to outer space, the children took us to the moon and back. What lay as materials on the table took such unique shapes, wriggled, jumped and danced their way into our hearts. We were captivated by the children and their imagination.
Would you also like to collaborate with your friends and children and create another magical journey? Imagin8ors are on the go and the next stop can be your doorstep!
It was indeed a light bulb moment when we thought of Imagin8ors On The Go. What an opportunity for us to bring the Joy of Learning to your very doorstep! To meet wonderful children and parents and together create an environment where we could children could tinker, have fun and learn hands-on. Where we could have a conversation with parents on on why this is important.
In today’s fast changing, tech-driven world, it’s become even more critical to nurture imagination and creativity in our children, so that they could apply the knowledge they learn in original, novel ways that machines cannot replicate easily. We need to build a strong foundation of character traits like curiosity – always asking questions, seeking to understand etc.; critical thinking – to help them analyse and solve unstructured problems , courage – embracing failure as a necessary part of the creative process, and collaboration – sharing and learning from others. These are part of what is talked of as 21st Century skills or capabilities.
With this in our hearts Imagin8ors visited Costa Del Sol and Costa Rhu and we spent a happy day transforming old toys – a great way to put to practice the very same 21 century capabilities. The output from children and parents was simply amazing… Fisher-Price should be taking notes.
Children landed at the event and set about sketching what they were planning to transform their toy into. Their imagination ran wild with no boundaries or rules to stifle them.
Parents and children collaborated together and it was heartening to see them equally involved as they sketched and planned for a toy of their own.
Once everyone had a plan on paper it was time for some action. Out came the screwdrivers and the dismantling began. We witnessed a lot of focus as the children went about systematically taking toys apart. Curious little beings showed so much delight to get a peek into how their toys worked.
Once the toy was taken apart they had all the ingredients to make magic. The raw material from the toy, additional stuff from our materials table and their creativity – when these three met sparks did fly!
The children spent the time discussing, tinkering and modifying their toys. They would also go around looking at others’ creations-in-the-making to get ideas and inspiration.
Parents rolled up their sleeves, got messy and helped their children through the transformation process.
In the end we had some very happy children who had actually built something guided by their fluid imagination. As the journey was made with their toys and parents, the euphoria at the end result was so much more.
It was a happy moment to see the parents and children rejoice, having created something new and unique to take home. When it is all about the journey the destination always comes as a pleasant surprise.
What are your views on nurturing 21st Century Capabilities in children? Would you like us to come to your doorstep too? Join the conversation…
It’s the first Saturday of the month and Team Imagin8ors welcomes you to their monthly Open House. A space to spark imagination for children (ages 3-10) and parents, to tinker with technology, and indulge in some free unstructured play. Meet like-minded parents, make new friends, and swap views on the fascinating learning needs for today’s children! The experience is absolutely free only registration required.
This month, we have three exciting experiences for you to explore:
Using USB Microscopes capable of 200x magnification, your child enters a whole new world of micro objects, such as plants and animal cells! After taking the pictures your child will learn how to prepare slides. The snapshots of microscopic objects and life forms, will be then incorporated into Scratch™ animation. Their fantastic interpretations of the MicroWorld will fuel their imagination. So come to have a closer look at the micro-organisms and use coding to spin out some great stories!!
Never heard of PlayDough conducting electricity before? Come to the Imagin8ors Open House and you can see it happen! Join us, use our recipes to create your own conductive Playdough, in your favourite colour! Light it up with LED lights, and get as far as you imagination takes you!
Do you like playing Arcade Games? It sure will be fun to have one of our own. Why don’t you create one with us? Design the rules, build it with our wide array of fun and colourful materials, and play!
This is a community event and we would like to spread the joy of learning, a maker mind-set, and an appreciation for technology to as many people as possible! Join us in this cause and invite your friend to join too. It will be fun!
When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
1030am – 1230pm
Where: The Meeting Point @ JTC Launchpad,
73 Ayer Rajah Crescent
Near One-North mrt
The Tech-Artists Holiday Camp is designed for our young artists to imagine, create, and bring their ideas to life with technology! They will be adding a technical twist to their creations made from a range of arts and craft materials. Children will be placed in groups with similar aged buddies to guarantee optimal learning and collaboration with their peers. There are 4 workshops for this Tech Artists Camp. ElectriCity (June 7), Colors Osmosis (June 8), Build Your Own Instrument (June 9), and Puppet Theatre (June 10) .
After a very exciting Tech-Artists Camp last December one of the parents shared ,” What I like the most about this programme is the exposure to the concept/environment for the child to express his creativity.”
How about exploring some artistic creativity with your child these holidays? You can choose to either sign up for individual workshops or the complete Tech Artists Holiday Camp. See you there!
Camp Dates: 7th June 2016-10th June 2016
Time: : 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Venue: The Meeting Point @ JTC Launchpad
73 Ayer Rajah Crescent,