Theme: Hands-on STEM
Buildagram: a Constructionist Environment for Spatial Reasoning
A foundational skill in mathematics education, spatial reasoning describes the cognitive processes that enable learners to navigate between two- and three-dimensional perspectives. However, traditional approaches to developing spatial reasoning skills contribute to a view of math and creativity as mutually exclusive. Inspired by the tangram puzzle, Buildagram is a 3-D construction set that combines the creativity of free play with the structure of geometry, enabling learners to take two-dimensional shapes and transform them into boundless three-dimensional creations. The set consists of tangram construction pieces, projection cards, and digital tools, which create a learning environment devoted to spatial reasoning. By playing with multiple representations of angles and polygons in Buildagram, kids develop spatial abilities which strongly predict success in STEM fields. From user testing, we see that they also tend to develop positive feelings about math and geometry without sacrificing fun or creativity.
My First Biolab – an Inquiry-Based Learning System for Microbiology Exploration
Microbiology concepts are highly relevant for everyday life, with wide implications on health and environment. It is believed that microbiology should be taught at high-school level. Inquiry-Based Learning is a recommended approach for learning scientific concepts, that includes hands-on investigation, performing experiments, and gathering data. IBL is rarely applied in biology learning at schools, due to several aspects: microorganisms are invisible to the human eye and do not provide immediate feedback; costly equipment; safety regulations. We present “My First Biolab”, a novel system enabling safe and sterile hands-on experimentation with microorganisms, promoting understanding of microbiology concepts through IBL. It includes a custom-designed nylon bag containing the biological materials, a magnetic peristaltic pump for circulation, a spectral sensor that monitors bacterial growth, a heat transfer plate for temperature control, and a UI for setting and monitoring the experiment.
How Sam Labs enable students to learn STEAM and Coding?
Theme: Interactive websites and apps for maths
Textbook of the Future
Discover Mathigon – an online learning platform for secondary mathematics, that combines an innovative curriculum with a unique new content format, to make learning more interactive and engaging than ever before.
Teachers: break the teach, learn, wait, forget, repeat cycle for low attaining maths learners with timely practice
I believe educators and practitioners are interested in how/why trauma and poverty often leads to low attainment, and how to help low attaining learners learn better, despite what happens outside of school. Our work is on how maths teachers can help break this cycle: teach – learn – forget – repeat Instead we want to replace it with this cycle: teach – learn – wait – practice – wait – practice etc However retrieval practice is not the whole story, we must address our program of study too. Learners who have smaller working memories (due to natural variation, poverty or trauma) get into this cycle : fewer slots in WM + only a few chunks in LTM + big bite of teaching -> little to no change in chunks. We can’t change working memory capacity, but we can help learners break out of their cycle of almost stagnant attainment by effectively increasing working memory slots by building bigger better chunks. Teachers can help learners close the learning gap using retrieval practice, feedback and a more tightly spiralled curriculum as follows: few slots + existing chunks + small bite + timely practice -> bigger better chunks. timely practice is an app for teachers of (currently) low attaining maths learners. We knit together robustly proven research on raising attainment, recent developments in the science of learning and carefully crafted questions. These lead to a spiral of rising rising expectations and ensure that teaching almost always becomes embedded learning and low attaining learners can and do close the learning gap with their more highly attaining peers.
Numberella New Build Synopsis
Theme: STEM in early years
Funexpected Math – How we use design to support our learning principles.
Funexpected Math is a beautiful interactive world for kids aged 3-7 featuring a growing collection of math-related games that teach various types of thinking and improve learning skills. We aim to teach kids to experiment, make their own decisions, use their logical thinking, see patterns and feel comfortable with new problems and tasks. And we use design to support our goals. Our app is a mistake-friendly environment where children can travel to various countries and choose mini-games they like. All games are divided into 5 big themes: Number sense, Geometry and Spatial skills, Logic, Algorithms, and Puzzles. Every game played changes the world of the app a little bit. And kids can see and enjoy the results of their efforts.
Engaging children and parents in Physically Active Maths sessions
Recognising the potential positive effects of physical activity in children, and the importance of motivation and engagement in mathematics, the social enterprise Numberfit and researchers from UCL have designed a programme that combines physically active games with mathematics learning. We present the design principles of a platform that enables children (and their parents) to undertake parts of this programme remotely. The platform has been designed taking into account the particular constraints of the ’lockdown’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we aim to keep children physically active during the lockdown and encourage parental engagement while leaving some space to attend their other duties during these challenging times.