Basic First Aid: How to Be an Everyday Hero

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Syllabus

  • Introduction to Tinkering
    • What is tinkering? What does it mean to you? Is it different from engineering or other forms of making? We'll explore these questions in the readings and forums while getting a sneak preview of the activities we'll be sharing over the following modules.
  • Marble Machines
    • Let's get started with our first activity! Marble Machines are creative ball-run contraptions made from familiar materials. This week we will show you the activity in action, talk about its design, then discuss in detail how to build your own Marble Machines set. We also hear from the artist who inspired the activity, and Eleanor Duckworth will share her pedagogical perspective.
  • CARDBOARD AUTOMATA
    • This week, we turn our attention to Cardboard Automata: inspired by crank-operated mechanical devices that tell miniature stories with movement and narrative, these simple but engaging contraptions are often a vehicle for personal expression and humor.
  • Chain Reaction
    • A Chain Reaction machine is a deceptively simple concept, but one that allows for an incredibly complex and deep investigation into something we experience every day: the relationship between cause and effect. It brings all of a tinkerer’s skills to bear to improvise, build, troubleshoot, and imagine a problem and its solution!
  • Research + Practice
    • This week is dedicated to exploring the relationship between practice and research about learning through tinkering.

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