Delightful to see what kids make on their own.
I always loved tinkering with Legos and in my dad’s workshop. It really does spark curiosity and creativity. It’s a completely different way of learning than traditional memorization heavy schools. However, I’ve been investigating new ideas about inquiry based learning, i.e. learning not from a lecture but from projects where the learners re-invent the important concepts. There is a method called POGIL which originated in Chemistry, and a very similar method called Modeling Instruction from Physics where there is no lecture. They combine project-based learning with the socratic method and an emphasis on teamwork. Students are given a question like “how soon will these objects hit the ground”, and groups of 3–4 students try to answer the question together, deciding on how to approach the problem and interpret the results, generally disagreeing at first, working through their different perspectives and thereby deepening their understanding of the phenomena as well as, more importantly, learning the collaborative nature of the scientific process itself. Here’s a great TEDx talk on POGIL: http://bit.ly/1P2OC06