5 Minute Classroom

May 20, 2020 at 12:15 pm Leave a comment

by Sara Willner-Giwerc, Doctoral Student in Mechanical Engineering

5 Minute Classroom is a collaboration between the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, White Mountain Science Inc., and FaceFront to create a video series for teachers by an amazing expert teacher (the one and only Bill Church) with the purpose of inspiring making in classrooms. Our goal is to share unique open-ended making projects and classroom hacks in the form of short (5 minutes or less) videos. Rooted in the belief that learning should involve play, iteration, experimentation, failure, and joy, we developed these videos with the hope of inspiring teachers and students alike to make something awesome happen in their classrooms.

From attaching cardboard to your LEGO Robotics creations to creating a custom LEGO attachment in TinkerCAD, 5 Minute Classroom wants to inspire educators of all kinds to think outside the box and try something new. Each video is supplemented with a one-page teacher guide and a placemat instruction. The teacher guide contains links to necessary materials, key tips for the activity instructor, and recommended activity preparation. The placemat instruction is a new and unique student-facing material being developed at the CEEO. The goal of a placemat instruction is to help get students started with an open-ended design challenge without dictating one single correct solution.

When we started this project almost a year ago, the reality of school looked a little different than it does currently, and we recognize that these videos are designed for the traditional in-person classroom and the resources that typically live there. However, we chose to release four of our videos that we think could be used at home by families and/or teachers conducting remote classes to help facilitate learning through making. In the future, we hope to produce some videos that will be targeted more for at-home learning, so if you have a cool idea we’d love to hear it! We hope you’ll check out our YouTube channel, try out one of the videos, and share your feedback via comments!

We can’t wait to see what you make,
The Five Minute Classroom Team
Sara Willner-Giwerc, Bill Church, Peter Rogers, and Hyejin Im

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