Conference to Tout Value of Tinkering Education
LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 22, 2019) – A team from The Discovery Network, the statewide outreach program of Museum of Discovery, will present at the International Tinkering Education Conference (ITEC 2019) at the China Soong Ching Ling Teenagers Technology & Culture Exchange Center in Beijing, China. The conference theme, “A Community for Global Tinkering Education: Sustainable Development of Innovative Education,” seeks to encourage innovative education through tinkering and making, gender equality and partnerships between global educational institutions.
The Museum of Discovery’s Discovery Network team was invited to present at the October 26-28 conference because, according to Network director Pody Gay, the Little Rock-based science center is regarded as a leader in tinkering and maker education, not just across the country, but globally.
“Although tinkering has always been in existence, education systems are increasingly seeing the value it has in problem-solving, critical-thinking and innovation,” Gay says. “The Museum of Discovery’s Discovery Network has been on the forefront of championing tinkering by placing tinkering studios and maker labs in museums, libraries and schools across Arkansas and by hosting the first Tinkerfest in the country, delivering the event to towns in every region of the state while offering the festival’s blueprints to science centers across the country and world.”
Gay says what originally started as a goal to provide tinkering workshops to educators in Arkansas has grown to a nationwide – now international – delivery.
“We have been invited to various conferences, convenings and educational institutions across the country to demonstrate how educators can incorporate tinkering into their curriculum and many of these conferences are attended by educators across the world,” she says. “It’s exciting that what we helped bring to Arkansas is spreading across the globe.
In addition to presenting at ITEC, The Discovery Network will enter into a memorandum of understanding with the China Soong Ching Ling Science and Culture Center for Young People, a Beijing-based charter school, that will promote a partnership between the two institutions to encourage idea sharing. The partnership will last for three years.
For more information on Museum of Discovery’s Discovery Network, visit www.thediscoverynetwork.org
About Museum of Discovery
Founded in 1927, Museum of Discovery is the state’s oldest museum. Its mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences. To learn more, visit museumofdiscovery.org.
About the Discovery Network
The Arkansas Discovery Network was established in 2006 to bring comprehensive, hands-on, STEAM-based educational experiences to students in all parts of the state. Initiated by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Network strives to provide the highest-quality educational experiences focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts and math to the children and families of Arkansas.