I was chatting with my brother the other day about how things are going with my two nieces learning at home while their schools are closed due to COVID-19.

My 13-year-old niece, Sophie, has continued to follow a typical school schedule each day with her school delivering a full learning program online. Her high school is doing a wonderful job providing lessons and activities to keep her motivated, learning, and engaged. She is enjoying this new way of learning, although she does report that hands-on subjects such as music and science are not quite us much fun sitting in her bedroom as they normally are at school.

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Meanwhile, my younger niece, Elizabeth, has not been quite as enthusiastic about completing the workbooks and suggested activities sent home from her primary school and is needing a lot more encouragement from her parents. This started me thinking about how students might keep learning problem-solving, design thinking and other STEM skills while they aren’t physically with their peers, teachers, and special equipment at school.

Recently, Elizabeth turned 11 and was given the gift of redecorating her bedroom complete with a new loft bed with a built-in desk from IKEA. As my brother described the afternoons he and Elizabeth worked together to assemble the flatpack furniture, rearrange her bedroom and find new storage solutions, it occurred to me that Elizabeth is onto something!

About the Author:

Mandi Dimitriadis is the award-winning Learning Director of Makers Empire, where she helps educators teach Design Thinking and STEM via 3D design and 3D printing. Makers Empire is currently offering a free Learning at Home course for teachers, students and families.


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