New Technologies, Design and Storytelling:
Announcing the SEEDS StudioLab at Acera
Children are natural innovators. At Acera, we design learning experiences to keep it that way! Which is why we are excited to announce our latest addition: the SEEDS StudioLab, in which students won’t find limits to their imagination – they will find tools and techniques that enable them as creators, and that will make their ideas and stories come to life.Sign up for a StudioLab Session this Summer!
SEEDS stands for Science, Engineering, Esthetics, Design and Storytelling; and for a hands-on space that — like so much at our school — breaks with the boundaries of specific fields of inquiry or practice.
In the StudioLab, students can sew and solder, program characters in Scratch and merge them with a scene they made out of paper, draw with their own hand or create a robot that will do that. They can paint with light, or create a painting that moves and sings; they can wire their origami and put solar cells into a light-up necklace. They can create a board game and digitally design and 3D print its characters, and they can design an interactive musical instrument out of, say, fruit, if that’s what they want to do. And these are just a few examples.
Founded and run by Alisha Panjwani, a designer and educator who comes to our school from the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group, the SEEDS StudioLab engages students in playful, experiential, inquiry-based, and collaborative learning experiences with new technologies.
Alisha is the co-author of the upcoming book Start Making! and a co-founder of the Duct Tape Network. Her rich experience in both India and the United States includes work in electronic arts, wearable computing and e-textiles, 3D printing, computer clubs, and storytelling in and with all media.
In the upcoming 2016/17 school year, she will collaborate with our core classroom teachers depending on the themes and projects going on in various classrooms; and she will run after school and weekend enrichment programs in the SEEDS StudioLab.
Here is an example of what a few students recently did with an hour of time in the StudioLab — built from nothing but an idea, popsicle sticks, wiring, and a motor:
Then, the same students evolved their project in session 2:
And by session 3, this is what they had build: