2nd Workshop by Popular Demand!

NOTE!!! Venue change!

This event is SOLD OUT. An additional date may be available later this spring.

Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom in a Reggio Emilia Context

This is a unique one-time only workshop combining a hands-on Invent To Learn workshop with a visit to the extraordinary Wonder of Learning Exhibition from Reggio Emilia, Italy.
TMI robot

With Gary Stager, Ph.D. & Sylvia Martinez
authors of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom.

February 13, 2015
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM


Hosted by:
Marymount School of New York
116 East 97th St
Manhattan, NY 10128 (Google Map)

$200, including supplies
Enrollment is extremely limited!

Click here to register today

Join colleagues for a day of hard fun, creativity, and problem solving — where computing meets tinkering and design. The workshop begins with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Next, we will discuss strategies for effective prompt setting. You will view examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and identify lessons for your own classroom practice. Powerful ideas from the Reggio Emilia Approach, breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement combine to create rich learning experiences.

Participants will have the chance to tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can really amplify the potential of your students.

Lunch is on your own within walking distance of the workshop.

From 9 AM – 3 PM you will be engaged in project development at Marymount School and then travel by subway to Brooklyn to visit the remarkable Wonder of Learning Exhibition. (at nominal personal expense for subway fare) You will leave from the exhibition at your leisure. (Google Map)

3d-invent-to-learnYou will learn

  • How new tools and technology can reinvigorate Project-Based Learning
  • Best classroom practices for integrating maker technology
  • How to plan engaging projects based on the TMI design model
  • How to choose the technologies with the maximum learning impact
  • How to make the case for making, tinkering, and engineering
  • How to incorporate found, recycled, and reclaimed materials in project development
  • The big ideas behind the Reggio Emilia Approach and bringing “Digital Reggio” to life in classrooms
  • The intellectual and creative capacity of even the youngest children

wonderoflearningX200The municipal preschools and infant/toddler centers of the small Italian city of of Reggio Emilia, are frequently referred to as “the best schools in the world.” The remarkable insights and expertise developed over fifty years of learner-centered, inquiry-based, hands-on learning with the youngest children provides practical wisdom for teaching learners of all ages. The “Reggio Approach” has been centered on learning-by-making for decades and provides a rich context for situating the maker movement in schools. Dr. Stager is an expert in the “Reggio Emilia Approach,” and has visited the exhibition several times. During the workshop, he will prepare participants to more fully appreciate and understand the remarkable exhibition.

Fabrication with cardboard and found materials, wearable computing, Arduino micro controllers, Humingbird robotics, littleBits, Circuit Stickers, Circuit Scribe conductive pens and computer programming are all on the menu.

Bring a laptop and your imagination. We’ll supply the rest (craft materials, art supplies, construction elements). Invention is the mother of learning!

This workshop is suitable for all grades and subject areas.

strip for workshop blog post

About the presenters

Gary Stager is an internationally known champion for student-centered authentic technology use, an entertaining speaker, and the world’s foremost authority on teaching children of all ages to program. A certified preschool and primary teacher, Gary has worked across Australia since 1990 when he led professional development in the world’s first laptop schools. Dr. Stager worked closely with Seymour Papert for more than two decades and his doctoral research at The University of Melbourne was based on work with Dr. Papert in creating a high-tech alternative learning environment for incarcerated teen at-risk learners. That work was heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach, which he has studied for decades. Gary was the new media producer for The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project – Simpatíco, 2007 Grammy Award Winner for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. Dr. Stager is also a contributor to The Huffington Post and a Senior S.T.E.M. and Education Consultant to leading school architecture firm, Fielding Nair International. Gary is also the Special Assistant to the Head of School for Innovation at The Willows Community School in Culver City, California.

sylvia martinez 300 dpi

Sylvia Martinez works in schools around the world to bring the power of authentic learning into classrooms, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. Sylvia speaks, writes, and advocates for student-centered, project-based learning, gender equity in technology, computer programming, and life-long learning. For the past ten years, Sylvia was President of Generation YES, a non-profit with a mission of empowering young people to improve their schools and communities with modern technology. Previous to Generation YES, Sylvia was in charge of product development at several software publishers, designing and creating video games and educational software. Sylvia also had a career in aerospace engineering as a senior scientist on the GPS navigational satellite system research and development. She holds a masters in educational technology and a bachelors in electrical engineering.


  • A good overview of the Reggio Emilia Approach may be found here.
  • An introduction to the exhibition may be found here.
  • Italian website (in English) for the Wonder of Learning Exhibition
  • High-level overview of the exhibition

Click here to register today

This workshop is offered by Constructing Modern Knowledge, LLC and unaffiliated with any organizations associated with the Wonder of Learning Exhibition.