Benefit the Workshop Provides
(Benefits are to the individual, family, school, and community – it is difficult to separate these because a benefit to one is nearly always a benefit to all.)
- Kids are off the street and into a rich, stimulating, safe environment, still with great freedom (come and go when you please, choose your own activities).
- Kids are exposed to adult mentors, models, and friends.
- Kids are encouraged to take charge of their own education by choosing their own activities.
- Kids can learn science concepts by personal experience (inquiry and discovery) – often the same concepts they will be asked to learn in school by wrote without first-hand experience.
- Kids can learn that science and technical fields are fun and interesting.
- Kids can learn construction skills: about tools, materials, fasteners, and many low-tech engineering concepts.
- Kids can learn the process of doing a project: conceptualizing, planning, looking for models or plans (as opposed to step by step directions), actually starting, proceeding, working with available tools and materials, changing paths, trouble shooting, asking for help, figuring it out alone or with friends, determining the adequacy of a finished product, finishing to standard acceptable to self, cleaning up.
- Kids can build confidence as a result of competence they gain and success they acheive.
- Kids get a view of possible future careers in science or education (even more true for interns).
- Kids can learn conservation, reuse of material, creative adaptation, minimal waste.
- Kids can learn about animals and plants some of which would not be encountered otherwise, especially how to care for them.
- Kids are exposed to art as a companion or complement to science (rather than a polar opposite).
- Parents are able to work together with kids on projects necessary for home or school that would otherwise be impossible.
- It is a local “field trip” destination for groups of students, complete with exhibits (life and physical science) and hands-on experience.
- It is an ideal site for weekly school-day hands-on science lessons for students at local alternative schools.
- It is an ideal base for a program that delivers hands-on science and math education to other after-school programs.
- It is an ideal base for undertaking science-related field trips and small research enterprises.
- It is a teacher resource: a clearing house of ideas with simple materials available and concepts explained to the next level of depth for teacher understanding.