Dream Designers

  •  Poland, Whole country
  •   2016
Short Description

Dream Designers is a program that is designed to support the development of the interests and competences of students in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Every year, a series of workshops is organized for teachers on issues of constructionist pedagogy - these are workshops during program events at the Copernicus Science Center, as well as additional away activities organized in environments using mobile makerspaces. We are working on creating and sharing educational materials on issues related to construction. The most important element is the grant competition in which students can obtain funds for the implementation of their own projects.

Objectives

Dream Designers is a program that is designed to support the development of the interests and competences of students in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). In recent decades, there has been a decline in the popularity of technical professions associated with exact sciences, professions that will be crucial for the economy and development in the future defined by modern technologies. We hope that science will be more often chosen by future students due to activities raising STEM competences (among students, but also teachers). Thanks to the mini-competition, we are developing a network of mobile makerspaces - for self-construction, encouraging the use of the principles of constructionist pedagogy in the education process. We currently have a network of 50 mobile makerspaces throughout the country.

Methodology

Every year, we organize a series of workshops for teachers on issues of constructionist pedagogy - these are workshops during program events at the Copernicus Science Center, as well as additional away activities organized in environments using mobile makerspaces. We are working on creating and sharing educational materials on issues related to construction. Every year we organize a mini-grant competition - each of the submitted teams has a chance to receive funds for the construction or further equip of their own makerspace, as well as for the purchase of necessary materials for the implementation of the designer's competition task. People interested in issues of constructionist pedagogy can meet at online webinars organized around this subject, as well as live during events organized by the Copernicus Science Center.

Funding

Every year, a mini competition is organized in which participants can get around $ 1000 to buy equipment and carry out a construction project according to their own idea. The entire project is financed by Boeing company, coordinated by the Copernicus Science Center. During the program, educational materials are made available, and workshops for teachers are held, which are free for them.

Outcomes

A network of 50 mobile tools throughout the country.

20 good quality construction projects carried out by young people.
Annually about 100 teachers undergoing workshops, as well as positively reviewing them. Every year, a growing number of entries in the mini-grant competition.

Justification

This is an activity that gives you the chance to learn about talents not discovered in students. In addition to the development of STEM competencies, the program puts a lot of pressure on the development of team-work competence, coping with stress and failure, working under time pressure. It often turns out that students with worse results are great at tasks that require teamwork, often become group leaders and have great ideas. In addition, the ideas implemented by the submitted teams are sometimes so advanced that it would be difficult to implement them for a group of adults. Maybe this way in a few years we will have great engineers.

Didactical Concept

Yes, the program mainly focuses on project-based learning. The most important element is the grant competition in which students can obtain funds for the implementation of their own projects (corresponding to a given topic). How they relate to the topic and how they get to the result - depends on them and their work organization. By solving the problem posed to the participants, they also encounter problem-based learning. Participants also meet with new media. The result is the preparation of a short film showing the completed project. Films are often published on schools' social media.

Innovation

The whole project (in all its aspects) focuses on the same assumptions. Mainly the development of STEM competences.

Practice Orientation

The final effect of the mini-grant challenge is the creation of a physical product that is personally constructed by the participants. Sometimes it is a construction consisting of ready-made elements available on the market, and sometimes they are completely new semi-finished products prototyped and constructed by students. After the project is completed, mobile makerspaces with simple tools that are used in the implementation of other projects are left in schools.

Involvement

The project gives participants great autonomy of activities. Teams decide for themselves.

Mutual Learning

This is one of the most important points of the program. The work takes place in teams - each team member has different competences, different interests. When working together on one project, this knowledge is transferred horizontally. Sometimes it happens that participants are "infected" with the interests of their peers.

Intergenerationality

The project is directed to children and adolescents aged 7 - 19 years. Each group is looked after by an adult (teacher, educator, tutor). Often, parents, older siblings help students at certain stages (requiring specific skills) of work.

Institutional Learning

In addition to developing the STEM competencies of direct participants, we prepare a series of direct activities for teachers. These are webinars, workshops. The facilities are also equipped with mobile makerspaces that can be used by indirect project recipients (e.g. other teachers at school).

Implementation

Under the project, 1 person is permanently employed - a coordinator supported by other departments in the leading institution.

Evaluation

Research is organized in each edition of the program.

Documentation

Each team prepares an extensive report. In addition to the reporting part, "lessons learned" occupy a large part of a report.

Time frame
  • Continous programme
Categories
  • Interactive Workshops
Lead Organisations
  • Other
Level of Schools
  • Preschool
  • Primary School
  • Lower Secondary School
  • Upper Secondary School
  • Special School
  • Other
External Partners
  • Company
  • Parents Organisation
Type of Schools
  • All types of schools and not only schools - also non-formal education organizations i.e. community centers, associations connected with education.
URL
Number of Schools involved
  • 70
Number of Schoolheads involved
  • 52
Number of Teachers involved
  • 100
Number of Students involved
  • 500
Number of Parents involved
  • 100
Number of External Partners involved
  • 10
Inclusivity

One of the secondary goals of the project is to increase interest in STEM topics among girls.

Interdisciplinarity

The project generally focuses on the development of participants' STEM competence (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Transdisciplinarity

The project generally focuses on the development of participants' STEM competence (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). During the construction of the construction submitted in the competition - all these elements combine and complement each other.

Cooperation

Students work under the guidance of a teacher always in groups (usually from 5 to 15 participants). Design tasks also require the team's physical presence in one place.

Qualitative assessment Inclusiveness

Every year, the theme of the mini-migrant contest changes. It is associated with trends in modern world. Inventions are created locally and have a chance to have a real impact in their immediate area, but participants often propose to develop their inventions to a more global scale.

Democracy

During the implementation of proprietary projects (for which there are no instructions available on the Internet) there are many contentious aspects. They are usually resolved by voting.

Digital Citizenship

New technologies" occupy an important place in most submitted projects. This is most often the implementation of microcontrollers in a variety of ways, but also things related to IoT. The effects of the work are displayed in the participants' social media.

Cooperation Quality

The cooperation smooth and very fruitful. It was coordinated by the project leader and the decisions were taken by the project leader but accepted by all the partners.

Role of External Partners

Support for the activities