Have we mentioned yet how much we love Austin and the SXSW community? No? Well we LOVE it. And to triple our chances of presenting at SXSWedu in 2016, we’re representing the studio in a few proposed sessions: one on Zoombinis, another focused on Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Scienceand a third on the Early Childhood Fab Lab. We’re a bit humbled by the incredible people we’ll hopefully be sitting next to, but we need your help to actually make it to Austin!

Here’s what to do:

  1. Read the rest of this post.
  2. Be amazed by how awesome our PanelPicker submissions are! (We know, we know, we’re excited too.)
  3. Head to SXSWedu’s website here.
  4. Make an account here to view all of the submitted SXSWedu ideas. 
  5. Vote! (Voting ends Sept. 4)
  6. Share the word on social media -- we can’t do it without you! A big thanks in advance.

Good Thinking! The Science Of Teaching Science

Link to vote: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/51733

The Smithsonian Science Education Center has partnered with FableVision Studios on Good Thinking! The Science of Teaching Science, a new, original web series and professional development resource for science educators. Too often, valuable knowledge sits unused in inaccessible journals; Good Thinking! delves into the research to share the best ideas and practices with teachers in a fun, accessible way. Good Thinking! is able to reach teachers with targeted information to support their practices.

Questions Answered

  1. Explore the potential for practical implementation of an animated web-series as part of a coherent and rigorous professional development plan.
  2. Investigate the learning science behind why our minds are designed to misunderstand science, and what educators can do about it.
  3. Discuss the need for an intersection of research and science with arts and entertainment in order to provide accessible information.

Marjee Chmiel, Smithsonian Science Education Center
Leigh Hallisey, FableVision Studios
Danielle Gillis, FableVision Studios
Brian Mandell, Smithsonian Science Education Center

Zoombinis: Redux of a Popular Learning Game

Link to vote: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/48308

Zoombinis, the popular math and logic educational game, returns nearly 20 years after its 1996 release. Panelists reveal different insights on how to bring back an old favorite & how to measure and leverage game-based learning of computational thinking. How do you relaunch a successful product from the ’90s and make it relevant for today’s generation? How do you leverage today’s research methods such as data mining to measure important learning in the game, such as computational thinking? How do you balance commercial impact with education for a popular learning game? Hear from designers, researchers, and developers to understand the choices that went into bringing back this popular learning game.

Questions Answered

  1. The panel will show how the Zoombinis game experience supports STEM learning -- specifically math, logic, and computational thinking.
  2. Designers will discuss game and learning mechanics from the original 1990’s game, and how they were preserved in the 2015 version.
  3. Researchers will discuss how middle schoolers’ learning of computational thinking is measured in the game and supported in the classroom.

Creating the World’s First Early Childhood Fab Lab

Link to vote: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/57348

Fab Labs are maker spaces that use digital design and fabrication (e.g. laser cutters and 3D printers) to build STEM skills and creativity. In winter 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launches the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3-10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality. This session addresses the design principles of these spaces, lessons learned from this first prototype, and curricula suggestions aligned to NGSS and CCSS. Panelists will reflect on their experience in bringing such edtech maker spaces to our youngest learners in developmentally appropriate ways.

Questions Answered

  1. Understand the power and possibility of using technology with very young children in developmentally appropriate ways.
  2. Learn from the nation’s first ECE Fab Lab prototype to consider how you can bring design and fabrication into your school, program, or classroom.
  3. Understand how math, computer science, and engineering practices can be meaningfully taught in Fab Labs with very young children.

Elizabeth Rood, Bay Area Discovery Museum
Paul Reynolds, FableVision
Janice Morrison, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES)