Tinkering & Making

The Amazeum believes high-quality, hands-on learning develops the capacity for innovative problem solving by engaging students in hands-on, skill building projects that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math. Tinkering is one innovative, hands-on approach to learning that focuses on open-ended explorations with materials, tools and ideas. As the leading resource for school-based STEAM in NWA, the Amazeum offers several professional development workshops to support schools as they implement tinkering and develop makerspaces.     

Private Workshops

Registration Details

The Amazeum offers private workshops for STEAM 101, 3 Approaches to Hands-on Learning, ReMaking with Purpose, and Skill Swaps. Full descriptions are available below. Each private workshop is 2 hours long with the date determined in collaboration between school and Amazeum. Private workshops are best when held at Amazeum due to the experience and access to resources/tools. However, workshops can be held at your school site.  Workshops are ADE-approved for professional development credit. 

Fee*: two-hour workshop at Amazeum for up to 25 teachers: $450
          two-hour workshop at school site** for up to 25 teachers: $500

Advanced registration and payment required by contacting Chief Learning Officer at mporter@amazeum.org

*Fees listed are negotiable with the Chief Learning Officer based upon quantity and frequency.
**Additional fee may apply for sites over 45 miles from Amazeum. 

Professional development workshops are designed for adults only. 

Workshop Descriptions

STEAM 101 Workshop

Are you asking yourself 'what is tinkering' or 'how do I start hands-on learning in my classroom'? Then this is the workshop for you! High-quality, hands-on learning has become an increasingly essential part of schools through STEAM labs, makerspaces, and school-wide integration.  But what is tinkering, making, STEAM and STEM? Does this approach to learning really belong in schools? If it does, then what are the best practices for implementing it in a classroom setting? As the leading resource for student-based STEAM learning in NWA, the Scott Family Amazeum will share insights and strategies including opportunities to sample experiences.

3 Approaches to Hands-On Learning Workshop

Now that you have some of the basics of high-quality, hands-on learning from STEAM 101, let's explore strategies for school wide implementation. Practice your building and balancing skills as we experience each approach. Physical science, pedagogy, community building, and assessment come together in this practical, engaging workshop.  

ReMaking with Purpose

Open up the possibilities of recycled materials! Learn modes of making that reuse and repurpose plastic and paper into creations, engage in culturally relevant projects, and reflect on the equity of making. Experience projects and activities such as journal making and fused plastic that can be easily replicated with your students.

Skill Swaps

Skill Swaps are workshops where you can learn new tinkering skills and build upon the skills that you already have while experimenting first hand with ideas and materials. The Amazeum will lead an exchange of making/tinkering based skills and hands-on activities in order to develop your own tinkering and implementation with your students. A variety of Skill Swaps are available- descriptions are below.

Makey Makey  This Skill Swap will focus on the creative tool called Makey Makey. We'll explore how you can start inventing with a Makey Makey out of the box and how you and your students can take it further by combining it with Scratch to experiment with basic programming. Join us as we investigate this simple tool for incorporating technology into the classroom that has endless creative possibilities!
Shakey Machines  Ready to expand your tinkering experience? Ready to shake things up with motors and batteries? Join the Amazeum team for a workshop all about bots! Bots that move, bots made out of everyday items, bots that can make art, and more!
Circuits  Learn how to create a basic circuit using circuit blocks. We will explore conductivity and switches by giving you hands-on time to mess around with your circuit. Then we will take it up a level and get creative with squishy circuits.
Build a Block Party Want to use circuit blocks in your classroom but you don't have circuit blocks? Build a Block Party is your solution! Come learn how to turn everyday objects and interesting materials into a tool you can use to engage your students in basic circuits. We will provide the tools and materials for you to make your first few starter circuit blocks.
Animation Animation is defined as 'using slightly different pictures that when shown quickly in a series create the appearance of movement'. In this Skill Swap, we will explore a variety of ways to animate your series of slightly different pictures. Discover the progression of animation from the earliest forms before film to the modern animation techniques of stop motion. Whether it's hand-drawn or computer based, animation can bring out the creativity of your students and connect to content as well.
Circuits and Coding Want to keep exploring the world of circuitry? Paper circuits blend art, electricity, math, and even simple coding into awe-inspiring projects. This friendly way to learn electronics is a great for beginners and anyone looking to complexify their experience with circuits.  
Sewn Circuits Circuits can be soft, too! Come join your sewing and circuit skills together to create projects called sewn circuits. This Skill Swap will focus on the spatial awareness of sewing and the complexity of completing a circuit in fabric.


Making Spaces

If you are looking for a more in-depth partnership with the Amazeum to develop tinkering based learning at your school, check out the Making Spaces program.