Design-based Learning

COSI's Technology & Innovation team is experimenting with various "design-based learning" activities in Gadgets Cafe.  What's design-based learning?  These activities provide learners with the creative license to construct whatever they'd like...with some mild guidance.

For example, the T&I team is currently focused on an activity called Structures.  During this activity, COSI guests are given a stack of 3' dowel rods and a handful of rubber bands and are asked to create a structure that they can fit within.  But how big should the structure be?  Does the person inside have to sit or stand?  What shapes should be used in designing the structure?  What's the best way to assemble the pieces?  All of these answers are determined by those involved in the activity.  Besides the prompt, there are no rules or limits.

Check out these pictures of geodesic domes (spherical structures made of triangular shapes) made by our T&I facilitators, Ryan Westhoven and Tia Christenson.  Want to learn more about geodesic domes?...research Buckminster Fuller. 


Ryan geodesic


Or come visit us in the Gadgets Cafe!

About the Author

Dave Buker

Dave Buker

Dave Buker is the Manager of Technology and Innovation Operations and has been with COSI since 2010. Along with other team members, he designs and operates a variety of maker, technology, and general science workshops. In his time away from COSI, Dave is an avid songwriter, a member of two bands (Dave Buker & the Historians / the Depths), and a film-score composer.

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