Children’s Innovation Project / photo: Ben Filio
Children’s Innovation Project engages young children to explore concepts of language, arts, mathematics, engineering, science and technology.
The project was developed by Jeremy Boyle, Resident Artist at CREATE Lab, with Melissa Butler in her kindergarten classroom at Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5. Using a kit of components designed for young hands, children explore and learn about electricity and simple circuits through hands-on engagement. Children make connections to objects in their world – specifically by imagining what the insides of toys are, then opening them to notice carefully what’s there, culminating in identifying components and then repurposing and reconfiguring those components into new circuits. In addition, the program connects their learning to other content areas such as writing, arts, vocabulary, mathematics and social studies, strengthening and extending children’s learning.
The program seeks to expand educational excellence in teachers as well as students. Through a partnership with Carlow University, students from the university co-teach with Children’s Innovation Project teachers where they watch what children do and say, document, and think of the next steps needed for the student’s education. These teaching fellows learn the program’s inquiry-based approach to learning and gain experience applying it to various teaching situations.