200 pupils play & learn
At Funday Factory, we are fond believers of play. Play contributes to fun and engaging experiences, but it can also broaden competencies and pave the way for new skills. Together with LYNfabrikken and LEGO, we decided to develop a workshop for pupils from 4th to 6th grade to play their way through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Playful and educational workstations
The workshop includes five different workstations all relating to STEM. There is a tower building challenge where the kids are to build a broad, high and stable bridge using all the bricks they want and afterwards the kids are challenged to use as few bricks as possible to make the bridge “less expensive”. There is also a workstation that invites the pupils to play with robots and learn about coding and another workstation that challenges the pupils’ ability to think creative when building art machines. No matter which challenge the pupils are placed in front of, the outcome is the same; the challenge can be overcome in many different ways and there is no right or wrong way!
The purpose is to let kids play their way to different solutions and to give them a fun basis for reflecting on their process. Each student will try two out of five workstations during the workshop.
"As a teacher, I’m focusing a lot on creative idea development and cooperation between the students. That’s why I found the workshop extremely interesting. It is appealing to me as an art teacher, since the workshop consists of different possibilities to challenge the kids. It’s a chance to accommodate the students’ interests while still being able to challenge them on a creative and technical level. All in all, the students and I will have a fun day filled with entertaining learning experiences.”Eva Trautner Beck, participating teacher from school in Skåde
Multiple different ducks
We kick-started each workshop with a task that has all pupils build a duck. All students had the same starting point but the results varied significantly and provided the students with a visual message: There are multiple solutions to solving a task.
Besides recognising that one task may lead to multiple solutions, the task supported the children’s ability to work together. We had students from different classes who had never worked together, we had some who were best friends and some who were under the impression that they could definitely not work together. However, something happen during the playful and physically engaging challenges, and all pupils ended up showing us how teamwork is done.
From a more academic point of view, the teachers were thrilled to be inspired to how some of the more classic courses such as physics, math, science and technology can be taught through play.
"Besides providing a break from traditional teaching the five different workstations have served as inspiration to me. I can definitely use some of the mechanisms and ideas played out today when we get back home in the classroom."Lars Beck Johannsen, participating teacher from school in Beder
Being part of the team behind this week of workshops we are happy and humble that both pupils and teachers’ expectations have been met. We set out to create a playful and engaging experience grounded in STEM and we got to see for ourselves, that we can all learn through play. All students no matter personal background or individual challenges engaged themselves in the tasks and used their creative, technical and social skills to solve the presented challenges.