Scaffolding children's exploration of motion and mechanism
Author(s)Shook, Michelle Leigh
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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This thesis discusses the development of a software system and a collection of manipulatives that help young children, ages 7-10, learn about the core ideas behind the construction of mechanisms and the creation of mechanical motion. The software tool acts as a resource for children to access during their own building activities and provides a support structure for them to scaffold their knowledge of mechanisms and mechanical components. The software accounts for different learning styles, offering three distinct entrances into the system that overlap in content. Additionally, the software provides support for children to connect mechanisms with motions they observe in nature and their surroundings, and to post their own constructions for others to view in an online environment. In the thesis, I describe initial prototypes for the software environment and pre-built mechanisms. Primary observations of first and second grade children's investigations with these prototypes are documented and suggestions are made for further improvements to make the system more effective.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2000.MIT Institute Archives copy bound: p. -80, 83-86, 81-82, 87-90.Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology