anthropology · behavior · children · education · health · learning · music · play

To Boost Attendance, Milwaukee Schools Revive Art, Music And Gym : NPR Ed : NPR

This gives me hope:

In the stuffy, little gymnasium at Richard Kluge Elementary in Milwaukee, 16 boys and girls are stretching, jumping and marching to music.

Two years ago, the school had no gym, art or music classes due to budget cuts. But now, Kluge students get a so-called “special” class three days a week.

Milwaukee Public Schools is one of several school systems across the country — including Los Angeles, San Diego and Nashville, Tenn. — that are re-investing in subjects like art and physical education. The Milwaukee school district is hiring new specialty teachers with the hope of attracting more families and boosting academic achievement.Music teacher Angie Dvorak is one of the teachers that’s been effected. Last year, Dvorak was part time and traveled between schools. This year, she’s stays at Kluge all day, teaching music upstairs from the school’s gymnasium.

Dvorak says she’s seen a different in her students: “I get to have them for class more frequently, which is awesome because their music skills are shooting through the roof this year.”

more via To Boost Attendance, Milwaukee Schools Revive Art, Music And Gym : NPR Ed : NPR.

creativity · design · learning · play · Social

Making stuff at Science Gallery

Makeshop
Picture from Science Gallery’s Makeshop. (Photo credit: David Ramalho)

I used to write about Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, a lot on my now defunct blog The Art of Science. They have now been open for a couple of years, and are huge proponents of hands-on science, art, and learning. This week they’re debuting their new MAKESHOP.

MAKESHOP is a new collaborative workshop space where you can learn everything from cross-stitching to DIY robotics, from origami to 3D printing. It’s for everyone from novices to advanced makers, the only thing you need to get involved is a curious mind and a yearning to make stuff.

We’ll be running these free, drop-in workshops over the weekend to celebrate the opening:

  • LED throwies – LED throwies were developed by the Grafitti Research lab at Eyebeam’s R&D OpenLab. LED throwies are a simple combination of a magnet, LEDs and some sticky tape and allow you to attach coloured lights to any (ferromagnetic) metal surface. They are called throwies because they can be thrown in clusters to attach to high up metal objects and structures for impressive colourful interventions in public space or simply to liven up your fridge door.
  • Paper Toys – The status of the paper toy lies somewhere between an art object, admired for it’s ultra cool design and a quirky DIY aesthetic. Choose from a range of templates in the form of flat 2D pattern that you can fold together and transform into awesome paper toys by some of the worlds best paper toy designers. Alternatively you can colour in your own blank template to give your paper toy a unique look.
  • Extract your DNA – Ever wonder what your made up of? In this simple extraction workshop you will be able to isolate your own DNA strands from your saliva and take home a sample to keep.
  • 8 bit Cross Stitch – Inspired by the simple grid layout of retro computer characters, 8 bit cross stitch combines old world craft with old school aesthetic. You’ll learn the basics of needle work and take home a starter kit that will get you well on your way to making a wonderful wearable.
  • Drawing Robots – Drawing Robots are autonomous drawing robots that people can make without any knowledge of electronics. Participants connect a battery pack to a weighted motor, some paper cups and magic markers and watch as the drawbots begin to draw incredible images by bouncing around on paper.
  • Read about more activities here.

What a great space to explore and play! The Science Gallery is one of the many reasons I’d love to visit Dublin someday. Science Gallery has lots of exhibits rotating in and out throughout the year, and a coffee shop to hang out at after your science-y/artistic adventures.

Have you ever been into the Science Gallery? What was it like? What about the one opening in London (see related articles below)? Share your experience in the comments below.

community · creativity · education · health · learning · school · technology · youtube

Google Global Science Fair 2011: Finalists announced

What a great way to support kids’ love of science and exploration! I also like how the proposals are via YouTube videos. This is more than just the typical science fair fare (so to speak), it contains some pretty hard-hitting science stuff.

The Judging Panel has identified the 60 semi-finalist entries, and now it’s up to YOU to decide which project will take home the People’s Choice Award. You can vote once in each of the three age-group categories until 20 May at 11:59 PM EST. The People’s Choice winner will be announced on 23 May, along with 5 finalists in each age category.Click on a project title below to learn more and vote for your favorites.

more via Google Global Science Fair 2011.