There are many variables to consider as educators and district administrators develop their summer programming plans. From the influx of federal and state funding and rapidly approaching deadlines to get plans submitted, to the uncertainty of how the virus will affect in-person curricula and the urgency to engage students with hands-on activities that reignite their natural curiosity and passion for learning, school officials are looking for programs that simplify the planning process.
In our white paper, Prioritizing Engagement in Summer Learning Recovery Planning, we explore why hands-on invention education is an ideal solution to help students catch up this summer and to reengage them after a challenging academic year.
Below is an excerpt from this white paper that explains why the act of play is crucial to helping children develop academic interests and passions.
Embracing Play Through Invention Education
Informal education has the additional benefit of giving children the opportunity to play — an essential aspect of early child development. According to Mayra Mendez, a licensed psychotherapist and program coordinator at Providence Saint John’s Child and Family Development Center in Santa Monica, California, the act of play represents a primary way children begin to understand the world around them.
“Play is important because it provides a primary foundation for learning, exploring, problem-solving and building an understanding of the world and your role within it,” Mendez said in an article published in Healthline. “Young children learn how things fit together through play. It allows them to use their senses and encourages exploration and curiosity, and these are the foundation of intellectual development and cognitive processing.”
Invention education, learning through the act of discovering or “inventing” solutions to real-world problems, authentically blends play with 21st-century skill development. In this context, students are free to take risks and explore because the learning environment embraces creativity and innovation.
When it comes to helping close the gender and diversity gaps present in our current STEM workforce, early exposure to these subjects in unintimidating ways is essential. Hands-on activities that introduce technical concepts can transform a student’s attitude toward topics they might not have found appealing in a traditional school environment. Paired with findings from Opportunity Insights that link early experience with innovation to the likelihood to innovate into adulthood, it’s clear that invention education provides unique advantages when incorporated into informal learning environments.
Read the Full White Paper Today
To download and read the entirety of our white paper Prioritizing Engagement in Summer Learning Recovery Planning, we invite you to visit our website.