Staging Constructionist Learning about Energy for Children with Electrochromic Displays and Low-Cost Materials

Markus Löchtefeld, Anna Dagmar Bille Milthers, Timothy Merritt

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Well-funded classrooms often provide a variety of learning materials such as computers, robotics and other expensive equipment to facilitate STEM Learning activities for children. However, exploring natural phenomena such as electrical energy is possible through very simple activities. In this paper we explore how cheap low-cost materials and simple electrochromic displays can be designed to support experiential learning about energy and power generation. For this we employed a mix of open-ended play and exploration as well as staged and goal-oriented activities. We developed two learning activities that involve children constructing working models that generate power including constructing a wind turbine and assembling a solar power harvesting house. We studied how children engaged in the activities and how the materials helped them understand the topic. All children could construct and complete the building tasks and were generally positive about the experience. We identified challenges encountered by children including interactions with the construction materials and electrochromic screens as well as insights about the mental models children have. We discuss challenges for staging learning through play with found low cost and local materials and provide implications for the design of constructionist oriented STEM learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMUM 2021: 20th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2021
Pages73–83
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-8643-2/21/12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventMUM 2021: 20th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 5 Dec 20218 Dec 2021
https://www.mum-conf.org/2021/

Conference

ConferenceMUM 2021: 20th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Multimedia
Country/TerritoryBelgium
CityLeuven
Period05/12/202108/12/2021
Internet address
SeriesMUM 2021

Keywords

  • STEM
  • constructionism
  • Experiential learning
  • Maker Movement
  • FabLearn
  • Electrochromic Displays

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