With funding from the National Science Foundation, IU Bloomington’s School of Education is bringing innovations from its makerspace to the community through both high-tech and hand-built projects. Led by Krista Glazewski, associate professor of instructional systems technology, and Thomas Brush, the Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology, middle schoolers engaged in the aquaponics project design, build and sustain ecosystems for fish. Project BioSim allows students from kindergarten through third grade to simulate life as honeybees.
Kylie Peppler, director of IU Bloomington’s Creativity Labs, said School of Education faculty and students are working with local schools and the public library to think of ways to add making and the creation of learning tools to the curriculum. “You almost have to see the space to really understand how this integration of arts and science actually comes together in a very holistic way to push the future of education here on campus,” Peppler said. Doctoral student Naomi Thompson is studying learning and development sciences in the School of Education. Through her work with the BioSim project, she’s been able to see children learning through playing with makeshift flowers and honeybees. “They’re able to use technology to build understanding and to get to play and act while they’re doing this really complex science,” Thompson said.