1. Tasha Weinstein
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/tasha-weinstein-bbb6ab21
  3. Education and Engagement Manager
  4. Sensational Science Camp with Ruff Ruffman
  5. https://wfsu.org/education/education_post/sensational-science-camp-with-ruff-ruffman/
  6. WFSU Public Media, Public Broadcasting Service, PBS KIDS
  1. Hannah Power
  2. Education & Engagement Coordinator
  3. Sensational Science Camp with Ruff Ruffman
  4. https://wfsu.org/education/education_post/sensational-science-camp-with-ruff-ruffman/
  5. PBS KIDS, WFSU Public Media, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Tasha Weinstein

    Tasha Weinstein

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 05:28 p.m.

    Hello Fellow Educators and Life-Long Learners!

    We are delighted to be here and to share with you a glimpse of the fun and curiosity invoking work that is part of being a Ready To Learn PBS KIDS Public Media station! WFSU Public Media hosts and implements hands-on camps, Family and Community Learning Workshops, Professional Development experiences and more throughout the year... Sensational Science Camp with Ruff Ruffman is one of our favorites. I am Tasha Weinstein, WFSUs Education & Engagement Manager, and with me is Hannah Power, our Education & Engagement Coordinator. Hannah is starring in our video and we will both be taking turns answering your questions and sharing more about the camp throughout the week. To start things off... we have a few questions for you! We use the Engineering design process in our camp, believing that the sooner children engage with a highly iterative process, the more imaginative and inquisitive they will be! While watching our video, what do you see happening that reflects the engineering design process? What do you think about the using an animated character like Ruff Ruffman to engage learners?

     

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Corinne LaPayover

    Corinne LaPayover

    May 18, 2019 | 11:24 a.m.

    This is the first I am learning of your work. I am thrilled. Keep up the good work

  • Icon for: Tasha Weinstein

    Tasha Weinstein

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2019 | 07:28 p.m.

    Hi Corky!

     

    I'm so excited that you checked out our video! We do a lot of very interesting work with PBS KIDS - but it's in small batches, so it's not shared far and wide except through spaces like this one. Thank you for viewing and commenting. (:

    Tasha

  • Icon for: Roxanne Hughes

    Roxanne Hughes

    Researcher
    May 13, 2019 | 09:32 a.m.

    Hi Tasha and Hannah!  How do you assess changes in participating students' perceptions of the engineering process or interest in engineering?

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Hannah Power

    Hannah Power

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 11:15 a.m.

    Hi Roxanne!

    Each day we build in reflection time for them to use their journals for drawing out designs and then making notes about what they are noticing and what they would improve upon and change moving forward. You can find the journals they use each day here on PBS LearningMedia: https://florida.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/s....

    Throughout the days of camp we definitely see kids asking more intentional questions and relating them back to prior activities and projects! Thanks for watching & asking (: 

    - Hannah 

  • Icon for: Sara Lacy

    Sara Lacy

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:52 a.m.

     Thanks for sharing your project.  The camp looks fun! 

    I'm curious about the "big ideas" that are the focus on each activity. Do they serve as the anchor for the engineering design process?  How do you select big ideas for activities? How do the campers explore  and use and reflect on those ideas?  What differences do you see  between trial and error -- or just trying and having fun-- and engineering design in this context?  

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Hannah Power

    Hannah Power

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:42 p.m.

    Hi Sara! Tasha and Hannah here -

    PBS KIDS always starts with science curriculum for students in their target age range. WGBH in Boston produced the Ruff Ruffman program and developed every episode around those science framework standards. The education teams at WGBH and PBS KIDS Ready To Learn took the series and then selected a few major engineering design questions / concepts that it focuses on... that then evolved into the Ruff Ruffman Sensational Science Camp!  

    Ready To Learn stations including WFSU further developed this camp curriculum and adapted it according to the needs of partners, which in our case, was Leon County Schools. We then report back to the creative team at PBS, they tweak the curriculum, we do another round or two of implementation with the updated curriculum, and then share it out with the entire network of stations plus educators via PBS LearningMedia! 

    The big ideas each day include chemistry (solutions and mixtures), force and motion (friction and momentum), materials science (properties) and structures (stability and symmetry). Each day the campers collaborate to create or build something based off of those concepts, and built into the day is time to think about their creations, discuss ways to improve upon them in their groups, and then set those improvements to work before showcasing their final projects. Even once the work is done for the day, each session wraps up with a group tour (or gallery walk, or in the video's case, a catwalk!) of all of the projects which culminates in warm and cool feedback from the entire class (a great way to sneak in social emotional tidbits, which is always an undercurrent in PBS programming). 

    This approach to each day of camp really engages students in a thoughtful creative process that is totally collaborative and reflective, encouraging meaningful and intentional discussion and design! At the beginning of each day, we ask the group if they thought more about the conversations we had the previous day of camp after leaving the station, and if they thought differently about cooking, about getting dressed for the day according to the weather, etc. 

    Let us know if that didn't quite answer your questions...appreciate the thoughtfulness and curiosity!! 

  • Icon for: Christine Cunningham

    Christine Cunningham

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 03:46 p.m.

    I love the creativity that the students' designs show! I do think that a character or story can be quite motivating for students. I’m wondering if you ever hear the children evoke the character as they engage in their engineering?

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Hannah Power

    Hannah Power

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 04:05 p.m.

    Hi Christine! There is SO much fun & creativity that happens in these camps...

    The kids definitely bring their projects back to the video and character dilemmas. Our team consistently reminds the campers of the conflicts / questions that come up in the clips, and the ways the characters approach the challenges. We ask a lot of questions like, "Remember when Ruff... how does this relate to his problem?" and "What did Ruff's friends do when they ran into this problem in the episode?" "How does the play-dough we just made remind you of Ruff's smoothie disaster?" A lot of times this will help the kids answer their own questions, which supports their critical thinking, and boosts confidence in solving their own problems! 

  • Icon for: Tasha Weinstein

    Tasha Weinstein

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:31 a.m.

    Just to add on to what Hannah shared... our campers do evoke the character throughout the camp! https://youtu.be/W-FW4eLtg-s. One of our interns created this camp video and the first portion shows the plushie and how it's being used. We have found that implementing our PBS KIDS Characters brings a lot of happiness and joy to our kiddos - it's a little piece of being a part of a program that they love. In the discussions that they have with their peers, Ruff is present and real. They think his antics are hilarious and the characters silly willingness to make mistakes gives children the freedom to experiment safely - Ruff's personality makes trying new things a part of the curiosity culture we are creating throughout the camps. Are there any characters or programs from your childhood that you feel influenced you?

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Joan Freese

    Joan Freese

    Executive Producer, Ready To Learn
    May 13, 2019 | 05:42 p.m.

    Hi, PBS friends--

    I'm curious about the roles assigned during the group work. Could you provide more details? Did you use a specific framework for this? Were the roles helpful?

    Thanks,

    Joan 

    Twin Cities PBS

  • Icon for: Diane Kroeger

    Diane Kroeger

    Informal Educator
    May 14, 2019 | 10:38 a.m.

    Hi Joan-

    Diane Kroeger here! Yes, the roles gave each child an official title and a goal for their specific contribution to the group challenge.

    Before getting down to the actual engineering challenge, we talked with the kids about the benefits of collaboration and team synergy. Then we used a visual display to highlight the following roles: Project Manager, Materials Manager, Chief Engineer(s) and Spokesperson(s). While we gave examples of the responsibilities needed for each role, we stipulated that each person's input in the design process was to be equally honored and valued throughout. Along with helping the team stay focused on the goal, the Project Manager was responsible for helping to maintain a collaborative culture. The Materials Manager collected and monitored materials and equipment needed from the "warehouse." The Chief Engineer took the lead on design and construction, and solicited input from the group. The Spokesperson presented the product to the entire camp and answered questions from the audience. We let the kids determine who would take on each role (with back-up support from our team if needed). The kids took their roles seriously and we encountered no group dysfunction or hurt feelings. We believe this is because we posted a camp staff member to facilitate at each group and we took the time up front to talk about collaboration, teamwork and the value of each member's ideas.

    We definitely will use this role framework again as it conveyed validity to every child's participation and gave us all a lexicon for talking about their individual contributions to the overall process and products--before, during and after the construction!

     

     
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    Hannah Power
  • Icon for: Kenneth Huff

    Kenneth Huff

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 06:38 a.m.

    Clearly teamwork and student conversations are fostered in your program.  The student's smiles convey their excitement and interest.  Do the challenges change each year enabling students that attend one year to come back the following year to learn about a different challenge or work at a higher level on a more sophisticated component of the challenge?  Thank you.

  • Icon for: Tasha Weinstein

    Tasha Weinstein

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 01:11 p.m.

    Hi Kenneth,

    We have not yet offered this camp to the exact same group of students, but there is room for additional innovating and changing up the challenges. WGBH created 20 videos as part of the Ruff Ruffman Show series and related games. It would be fairly easy to apply the daily camp recipe to take each video and activity and turn it into new challenges that apply different engineering design ideas, or could build upon the structures and forms already introduced in a previous day of camp. For more information, here is the link to the WGBH Press release about the series -https://www.pbs.org/about/blogs/news/pbs-kids-announces-the-return-of-fan-favorite-with-new-digital-series-the-ruff-ruffman-show/

  • May 15, 2019 | 01:10 p.m.

    This looks like such a fun experience for students to engage in engineering design. When students present their design solutions to peers do they have the opportunity to act on the feedback they receive to refine designs?  

  • Icon for: Hannah Power

    Hannah Power

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 01:33 p.m.

    Hi Jonathon! 

    We always do two rounds of sharing - one for initial feedback on ways to improve, and to allow students to glean inspiration from their peer groups to take back to their projects. We then give them another 20 or 30 minutes to take those ideas and put them into action! Before we finish for the day, we share the adapted & improved creations in their finality with the full group, asking questions about what they changed or added and why, and providing more warm & cool feedback. (:

     
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    Jonathon Grooms
  • Icon for: Perla Myers

    Perla Myers

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2019 | 10:44 p.m.

    I love the video! The students look really engaged, and the challenges look fun. How do you select the children who participate?

  • Icon for: Tasha Weinstein

    Tasha Weinstein

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2019 | 07:33 p.m.

    Hi Perla,

    It varies from camp program to camp program, but for many of them, our partner, Leon County Schools in Tallahassee shares our promotional flyers with families in Title 1 schools, or specific groups within the county for participation. If we have additional space, the circle of families included is broadened. We are gearing up for this summer - we are doing a new camp based on the PBS KIDS program, Ready Jet Go! and we already have a waiting list! Thank you for your question!

    Tasha

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.