Supporting and Amplifying Local Organizations Engaged in Playful Engineering-Based Learning (PEBL) Post-COVID is a grant funded by LEGO Foundation awarded to Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), Tufts DevTech Research Group, and Tufts Department of Education to help children recover from the learning disruption caused by the pandemic. With this grant, Tufts CEEO will collaborate with KARMA and other local education organizations whose missions align with playful learning, innovative approaches to learning, and Tufts CEEO’s fundamental belief in empowering teachers and students by allowing them to drive their own learning. Local organizations with established community relationships are essential to bring playful engineering-based learning to students and teachers in the current complicated educational landscape where schools are juggling competing priorities.
Prior work with Tufts CEEO brought online STEAM activities into rural-based classrooms to better understand how Tufts CEEO can support remote local organizations, teachers and students in times of COVID. The PEBL project allows for more teachers to not only be part of the development but replicate to other schools. The model that is developed would also allow CEEO to increase the integration of Navajo priorities, language, beliefs and history into the culturally relevant MakerPlace(s).
Both schools have teachers that are true definitions of maverick educators who serves as fellows on the PEBL project. Maverick educators are challenging the norms of education by approaching teaching styles with innovative methods of learning. This allows expansive growth for the students, families, and communities on the Navajo Nation.
Little Singer Community School
Little Singer Community School (LSCS) is a K-6 grade school rooted in Dine’ traditional teachings that helps to inform their heavily cultural perspective in education. Tom Tomas, PEBL fellow, is one of many educators that is advancing students in areas of coding, 3D printing, virtual reality, and robotics.
St. Michael Indian School
St. Michael Indian School (SMIS) is a K-12 grade school that is striving to maintain its Catholic faith while balancing Navajo culture. Mykl Greene, PEBL fellow, is one of many educators who is garnering innovative minds in STEAM related fields such as coding, robotics, virtual reality, and 3D printing.
Second Mesa Day School
Second Mesa Day School is a K-6 grade school dedicated to providing a positive learning environment based on the strengths and values of the Hopi community. The Assistant Principal Denise Masayesva serves as the PEBL fellow for this school of innovation.