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The Value of Tinkering
The Value of Tinkering

Our Own Aaron Schomburg Blogs in Scientific American About Unstructured Time for Students to Explore and Investigate

Lower School science teacher Aaron Schomburg draws on his own childhood in (we're serious!) Tinkerville, New Hampshire, as he makes space in his classroom for Princeton Day School students to have the opportunity and time to foster a foundation of creativity, imagination and problem-solving.

"Tinkering is not a word that many educators use, and for good reason: parents and administrators have come to expect us to use certain educational buzzwords when discussing our strategies, approaches, lessons, concepts or skills that are to be taught . . . but in order to problem-solve you need to know about the physical materials and systems you're dealing with, and you need to be flexible and creative. Tinkering develops precisely these skills and abilities. It is a stepping stone for what kids will face in higher grades and college -- in [STEAM] maker spaces, innovation labs, fab labs, or science and engineering courses. Tinkering is not just a physical activity; it is also a way to develop thoughts and ideas that lead to the next step, whether that is a more detailed drawing or prototype, or even pure scientific research," Schomburg writes.

Read his full blog for Scientific American here.

Photo: Aaron Schomburg in his science classroom with PDS Fourth Grade students.