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  • The









  • What



    l& inventive environment look like?

  • Anamorphosis. From Kaspar Schott, Magia universalis naturæ et artis. Würzburg, 1657

  • Anyone













  • I think intelligence cannot develop without content. Making new connections depends on knowingenough about something in thefirst place to be able to think ofother things to do, of other questions to ask, which demandthe more complex connections inorder to make sense of it all. Themore ideas a person already hasat his disposal, the more newideas occur, and the more he cancoordinate to build up still morecomplicated schemes.

    -Eleanor Duckworth, “The Having of Wonderful Ideas” and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning

  • Questions






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  • In a certain sense every experience should do something to prepare a person for later experiences of adeeper and more expansive quality. That is the very meaning of growth, continuity, reconstruction of experience. -John Dewey

  • Cloud (detail)by Arthur

  • We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learningthe answer itself. -Lloyd Alexander



  • Creativityis










  • Constructionism is both a theory oflearning and a strategy for education. Itbuilds on the "constructivist" theories ofJean Piaget, asserting that knowledge isnot simply transmitted from teacher tostudent, but actively constructed by themind of the learner. Children don't getideas; they make ideas. Moreover, constructionism suggests that learnersare particularly likely to make new ideaswhen they are actively engaged in making some type of external artifact (be it a robot, a poem, a sand castle, ora computer program) which they canreflect upon and share with others. Thus,constructionism involves two intertwinedtypes of construction: the construction ofknowledge in the context of building personally meaningful artifacts.- Yasmin B. Kafai and Mitchel ResnickIntroduction, Constructionism in Practice, 1996


  • Things are not difficult to make. What is difficult is putting ourselves in a state of mind to make them. -Constantin Brancusi

  • Tim Hunkin

  • Creativity is about play and a kind of willingness to go with your intuition. It's crucialto an artist. If you know where you are going and what you are going to do, why do it? -Frank Gehry

  • Singing mechanical rooster. From Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia universalis. Rome, 1650.

  • The















  • cricket

    Jiminy cricket


    sic” c



    PICO cricket

  • Giant Painting Machine by Douglas

  • A PIE Activity is:

    • A playful and inventive approach to learning

    • An opportunity to use a variety of tools and materials

    • Reflexive and iterative

    • Collaborative in nature

    • Somewhere between hi-tech and lo-tech

    • Time consuming and sometimes challenging

    • A mixture of science, art, and technology

    • Using digital technology as just one of a number of tools and materials

    • A way to learn science, art, and design process skills

    • Rich in experimental variables

    • Diverse in solutions to a shared theme or challenge

    • New uses for everyday objects

    • A way of taking an idea from imagination to realization

    • Personally meaningful

    • Based on real, inspiring things in the world

    • When the big idea is the individual's idea

  • Creators are hard-driving, focused...independent risk takers... A willingness to toil and totolerate frustration and persist in the face of failure is crucial. -Ellen Winner

  • A short film from 1961, in whichAlexander Calder and his wifepresent Calder’s Circus, made upof tiny acrobats and animals. The circus is housed at theWhitney Museum in New York.

  • what does it mean to be fluent with a cricket? with a hot glue gun?.... with a cable tie?....or with ideas?....


  • Creativity is the ability to see relationships where none exist. -Thomas Disch

  • Tabula scalata (staircase picture)From Jean Blanchin, La perspective curieuse, Paris, 1663.

  • The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes,

    but in having new eyes. —Marcel Proust

  • The visitor is led into a darkened room. Through a window high in the wall behind him falls a narrow shaft of sunlight. The mirror reflects the light onto an octagonal wheel,with paintings of animal heads set on human shoulders. As a result of the revolution of the wheel the visitor sees his own image undergo one metamorphosis after anotherin the mirror. The aim of the deigner of the device, the Jesuit Athanassiua Kircher (1602-1680) was tp conjure up with these transformations as many symbols andmetaphors as possible for the observer; the optical reflections, he hoped, would move the observer to spiritual reflections, he hoped would move the observer to spiritualreflections of his own nature. In his own words: “I myself have such a machine, which sends everyone into great raptures when they look into the mirror and instead of their normalcountenance discrcern how the visage of a wolf now that of a dog or some other animal.” -Athanasius Kircher, De Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae, Rome, 1646

    From Douwe Draaisma, Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas About the Mind. Cambridge, 2000.

  • Underlying this book is thepremise that children andteachers need to be activelyengaged in the learningprocess. As designers oftheir learning, dynamic collaboration between adult and child produces thoughtful curriculum.

    -Susan Dunn & Rob LarsonDesign Technology : Children’sEngineering

  • Ways to get “uns


    - reassure yourself thatgetting stuck is part of the process

    - look at what other people are doing

    -take a walk

    - Make a drawin


    - Talk to someon

    e about

    what you’re wor

    king on

    - fiddle with som


    else for a while

    - write in your j


  • In 1869 Marey constructed a very delicate machine todemonstrate the flight of an insect and the figure-8 shapeit produced during its movement. His artificial insect, with abody formed by a drum containing compressed air, couldmove up, down, and even diagonally.

    Insect Flight Machine - Étienne-Jules Marey

  • The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

    -Julia Cameron

  • Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple,that’s creative. –Charles Mingus

  • HARVEY ALLISON 1916 (#1,207,464)

  • RENT-A-DOG by Tim

  • Cabaret MechanicalMovement contains a lot oftheory but it’s also packedwith practical tips and ideasfor making your ownautomata, moving toys ormechanical sculpture.

  • To understand is to invent. -Jean Piaget

  • FIG. 12. FACSIMILE OF DESIGN FOR PENDULUM CLOCKDrawn by Vincenzio Galilei from his father’s dictation.

  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious—it is

    the source of all true art and science. -Albert Einstein

  • Etiology of Innocence by Bernie

    Made of pine, hemlock, latex, urethane, copper, canvas andmusic wire. Inspired by a 19th-century simulation of heartfunction by Etienne Jules Marey, this interactive replicationof the heart requires at least two people to complete theexperience.

  • The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than to provide ready-made knowledge. -Seymour Papert

  • Lifelong Kindergarten

  • You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. -Plato

  • by: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi








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  • Phenakistoscope

  • Discovery is the ability to be puzzled by simple things.

    -Noam Chomsky

  • e mb r a c e

    m i s t a k e s

  • You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll knowabsolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's whatcounts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.-Richard Feynman


  • Exploring, like doing basic research, is often fruitless. Nothing comes of it. But also like basic research,as distinct from applied or directed research, exploring enables one to divert attention from preconceivedpaths to pursue some intriguing lead: a fragrance, a sight or smell, an interesting street or cave, an openmeadow encountered suddenly in the woods or a patch of flowers that leads one off the trail, or even a holein the ground! Often it is precisely as a result of aimless exploration that one does become intenselydirected and preoccupied. -Frank Oppenheimer




  • Wooden Screw by Norman

  • Marey devised the first portable sphygmograph whichrecorded the pulse transmitted by a pen, one end ofwhich was connected to a pad that rested on the pulse.A strip of paper that was blackened in the smoke from apiece of burning camphor is supported in a carriagewhich was moved by a clockwork mechanism past thepen. The length of the pen amplified the movement ofthe pulse.

    Sphygmograph (1860) - Etienne Jules Marey

  • Sensing strange stuff

    • a bug crawling across a surface

    • a raindrop falling

    • ripples in water

    • something that grows

    • someone laughing

    • hair being cut


  • I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.

    -Albert Einstein



  • Phonoharp by Walter

  • based on terminology developed by John Maeda at the MIT Media Lab


  • Eggbot by Bruce

  • The art and science of asking questions is the source of all

    knowledge. -Adolf Berle

  • I think our interaction has been single-pathed. You’re in a forest, you walk carefully along the path, and you reach the chest of doubloons on the other side and solve the problem. And that is the way we, I too,teach physics. But the kids that try it get lost at each turning of the path. The trouble is that they thinkthere is only one safe path, that they have to stick to it as close as they can, and they’re afraid to go offinto the deep woods. I think that the only way to teach path-finding is too make them get lost many times, tomake all the false starts, to try out all the alternatives. Of course, you can’t learn many paths that way,but you can learn a way of going down a path. Then, if someone gives you another start, you might be able tofind a way for yourself. Hopefully some other time. -Phillip Morrison, American Journal of Physics 1964

  • Spinning Patterns and Spinning Blackboard 8EHeat Camera 6CThermal Impressions 6CRift Zone and Aeolean Landscape 5CFading Motion 4MDrawing Board 5M

    Barry’s List of Art Machines Mark Making Exhibits

    Note: Numbers with capital letters represent general museum location. The number is on the museum wall.

    W=west, C=center, E=east, and M=mezzanine

    Shadow Box 17WSun Painting 16CRecollections 14EDiscernability 11CMercator Your Face 10W

    Other PossibilitiesEye Tracking 14WSeismograph 9EVibrating Sand 9EImaging Station 7M

  • Playful and Inventive Art Machine FilmsDo-Nothing Machine (1957, edited 1991, 2 min) by Charles and Ray Eames Available at www.pyramidmedia.comEames Office footage of the Do-Nothing Machine documents the solar-powered toy commissioned by Alcoa to showcase a playful and unexpected use of aluminum.

    100 watts, 120 volts (1977, 9 min) by Carson Davidson This film may be difficult to find.The film follows with lyrical rhythm the automated manufacture of light bulbs, accompanied by Bach's Third Brandenburg Concerto.

    Light Play: Black-White-Grey (1930, 5 min) by László Moholy-NagyAvailable to rent or purchase on 16mm film from MOMA, NYC, thru their film and media collection, www.moma.orgIn 1930 artist and Bauhaus teacher Moholy-Nagy completed his kinetic sculpture, the Light Space Modulator. Made of prisms, disks, screens, gratings, mirrors, andshiny balls, the rotating machine reflected and refracted beams of projected light, altering the viewer’s perceptions of space and creating a living painting in the gallery.Moholy made this short film as a document of the Modulator’s operation, and as a study of the sensitivity of moving picture film to the luminescence of light and shadow.

    Calder’s Circus (1961, 19min) by Carlos Vilardebo Available at www.roland-collection.comAlexander Calder's fascination with the circus began in his mid-twenties, when he published illustrations in a New York journal of Barnum and Bailey's Circus, for whichhe held a year's pass. It was in Paris in 1927 that he created the miniature circus celebrated in this film - tiny wire performers, ingeniously articulated to walk tightropes,dance, lift weights, and engage in acrobatics in the ring. Artists would gather in Calder's studio to see the circus in operation. It was, as critic James Johnson Sweeneynoted, ”a laboratory in which some of the most original features of his later work were to be developed.“

    Glas (1958, 10 min) by Bert Haanstra This film may be difficult to find.A lyrical study of the art of glassblowing as rhythmical play, the film shows the craftsmanship of the glassblower who, with one deft movement, turns a lump of moltenglass into a household object or a work of art is in sharp contrast with the uniform and mechanical way in which items are formed in a commercial glass factory. Winnerof the 1959 Oscar for short subjects.

    Breaking it Up at the Museum (1960, 8 min) by D.A. PennebakerAvailable at www.phfilms.comA record of the Spring 1960 event in which Homage to New York, a kinetic machine built by the artist Jean Tinguely, destroyed itself in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

  • Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go, 1986-87, 30 min) by Peter Fischli and David WeissAvailable at a series of Rube Goldberg-like chain reactions, household objects such as sugar cubes, styrofoam cups, a tea kettle, and wooden blocks follow a seemingly haphazard path of successive actions and reactions involving rolling, melting, dripping, steaming, and toppling to create a series of dramatic tension-filled temporarycrises and resolutions.

    Wild Wheels (1992, 64 min) by Harrod BlankAvailable at www.artcars.comTraveling across the country in his own wildly decorated VW Bug, filmmaker Harrod Blank discovers a memorable cast of real-life characters who are obsessed withtransforming their cars into mobile works of art.

    The Secret Life of Machines (1988 - 1993) by Tim Hunkin Available at www.timhunkin.comThis British TV series produced by Channel 4 and subsequently shown on the Discovery Channel examines the history and workings of everyday machines. Originallydeveloped as a comic strip, the film uses live action and cartoon animation to explain the inner workings of common household and office equipment.

    Arthur Ganson’s Machines (1978-2004, 70 min)By Arthur GansonAvailable at www.arthurganson.comThis DVD documentation of 36 of Ganson’s kinetic art machines provides good overall views and close ups of his work. The film includes animation sequences showing how he bends and solders wire gears, and texts capturing the artist’s thoughts about machines and the creative process.

    Wire Works (1992, 5min) by Michael RudnickContact the filmmaker to purchase a copy [email protected] film documents some of Rudnick’s 3-dimensional wire art works that depict human fables.

    Sharmanka (Russian for “barrel organ,” 42 min) by Murray GrigorAvailable at by sculptor-mechanic Eduard Bersudsky and theatre director Tatyana Jakovskaya in St.Petersburg, Russia, in 1989, and based in Glasgow, Scotland, since 1996, Sharmanka is an kinetic theater of hundreds of carved figures and pieces of old scrap, which perform to music and synchronized light.

    Playful and Inventive Art Machine Films (cont.)

  • A Point of View on Teaching Soren KierkegaardThe Journals 1864

    That if real success is to attend the effort to bring a man to a definite position, one must first of all take pains to find him where he is and begin there.

    This is the secret of the art of helping others. Anyone who has not mastered this is himself deluded when he proposes to help others. In order to help another effectively, I must understand what he understands. If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him. If, however, I am disposed to plume myself on my greater understanding, it is because I am vain or proud, so that at bottom, instead of benefiting him, I want to be admired. But true effort to help does not mean to be a sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to be ambitious but to be patient, that to help means to endure for the time being the imputation that one is in the wrong and does not understand what the other understands… For to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc. No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he under-stands and in the way he understands it…

  • Evaluation Guidelines Excerpted from "The African Primary Science Program: an Evaluation and Extended Thoughts"

    by Eleanor Duckworth

    1) Does she make suggestions about things to do and how to do them?

    2) Can she show somebody else what she has done so they can understand her?

    3) Does he puzzle over a problem and keep trying to find an answer, even when it is difficult?

    4) Does he have his own ideas about what to do, so he does not keep asking you for help?

    5 ) Does she give her opinion when she does not agree with something that has been said?

    6) Is she willing to change her mind about something, in view of new evidence?

    7) Does he compare what he found with what other children have found?

    8) Does he make things?

    9) Does she have ideas about what to do with new material you present to her?

    10) Does she write down/draw some of the things she does, so she does not forget what happened?

    11) Does he sometimes know ahead of time what will happen if he does a certain thing?

    12) Does he like to think of variations of ways of doing something?

    13) Does she ever decide to do something over again, more carefully?

    14) Does she feel free to say she doesn't know an answer?

    15) Does he cooperate with other children in trying to solve a problem?

    16) Does he ever continue this work outside school time?

    17) Does she ever bring materials to school, to investigate in the same way?

    18) Does she talk about this work at other times of the day?

    19) Does he make comparisons between things that at first seem to be very different?

    20) Does he start noticing new things?

    21) Does she start raising questions about common occurrences?

    22) Does she ever repeat one experiment several times, to see if it always turns out the same?

    23) Does he ever watch something patiently for a long time?

    24) Does he ever say, "That's beautiful?"

    I think that you will agree that if a child does even five or six of these things, they are benefiting.