SciPlay and Design Lab have been working hard to create a suite of apps for release in the app store to help support playful and engaging STEM learning. Collectively, these are the NYSCI Noticing Tools™. While the many apps we are creating promote exploration of a variety of concepts, including ratios, graph translation, motion, energy, and force, they all center around the same core principles.
Noticing not gaming
These apps move away from games and highly structured experiences and serve as tools to help students notice the math and science in their everyday life. This noticing allows for different, divergent thinking, problem solving, and more opportunities for kids to learn independently and together in ways that benefit them in personalized and open-ended ways.
People and play at the center
Our Noticing Tools™ foster engagement by capitalizing on the learners and their personal experiences. Rather than introducing concepts through abstract scenarios, all of our apps allow the learners to interact personally with the technology, including capturing videos or pictures of themselves, their friends, or photos of their own creation. The apps mine these resources for data that map directly to the learner’s experience in a concrete and meaningful way.
Divergent thinking and divergent solutions
With the noticing approach that our resources promote, children and families alike are invited to explore and wonder about the world around them. Rather than posing a set of questions in which learners are expected to provide “correct” answers, these Noticing Tools™ encourage deep and creative thinking, exploration, and discovery.