Mar 17, 2020
Anna Babarinde, Curriculum Coordinator for Science-SCOE
Casey Shea, Curriculum Coordinator for Maker Education
As schools across Sonoma County and the country close for an extended period of time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of educators that includes representatives of the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE), have launched an effort to provide a set of hands-on maker activities and design challenges that children and their families can complete at home using simple products found around the house.
The project, called CoBuild-19, is being spearheaded by the Maker Educator Collective, a network of experienced educators from K-12 and higher education working to help educators integrate maker education principles and philosophies into core curriculum.
Two SCOE educators, Science Coordinator Anna Babarinde and Maker Education Coordinator Casey Shea, were part of the group that founded the collective in 2018.
Most of these activities will be based in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with a focus on COVID-19-related issues. However, there will also be activities based around literacy, art, and other disciplines.
The group will crowdsource content ideas from educators across the U.S. and then share them with the public over social media, traditional media, and live online events. For each activity that is developed, a live-streamed web session will introduce the activity, give some tips to adults for facilitation, provide information on STEM careers, and engage the audience in a conversation about the project and its connection to their lives.
"In response to school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our group felt it was important to share a variety of free or very low cost activity ideas and suggestions for families to engage in," Shea said. "I am excited about the quality of the people involved in the group and can't wait to see what students create!"
The group hopes to roll out 19 activities/design challenges between March 23 and mid-April. The goal is to assist families looking for ways to explain the situation with coronavirus to their children as well as families who want to engage their children in learning without needing to discuss the virus. Activities will mostly be designed for students in grades 1-6. This age range was chosen largely based on research that supports the importance of developing and maintaining young children's interest in STEM.
Funding for the project was granted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and builds upon an existing NSF-funded project that engages students and families in engineering design to address problems/issues in their home, school, or community.
To access CoBuild-19 information and projects, please visit:
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