The other day, we had a power outage for 12 hours. No big deal, right?
Actually, I was really surprised to see the effects on my morning routine. I got up in total darkness at 6am. I took an invigorating cold shower to start the day. My hair was wet and funny looking all morning because my blow dryer didn’t work. Worst of all, I had to leave home without coffee! When the lights came on that evening, I thanked the universe for human ingenuity. Technology really does make life so much easier!
On the flip side, the convenience of our modern lives comes at a cost. To be honest, I struggle taking the recommended 10,000 steps per day to maintain fitness. How easy is it not to move at all in a world where movement is hardly necessary anymore? I have to make a conscious effort to increase my step count by investing more time walking home instead of taking the bus and to ride my bicycle to the shops instead of getting in the car. It’s certainly worth questioning what parts of our modern-day lives actually work against us, than for us.
Our Design and Technologies workshop encourages critical questions about the use of technologies in our daily routine. The workshop prepares educators to discuss the implications of inventions and technological progress with children to support their ability to think critically and to make informed decisions.
Preparing future generations for the challenges of our world includes the development of a sustainability mindset. The workshop and the accompanying materials spark ideas for sustaining the environment and for accessing community resources. For instance, we suggest organising a swap meet with the children. Who has a book or toy they no longer want? Each child brings something that they can swap with another child. Or perhaps your group wants to organise a garage sale. What would be a suitable location? What day and time would be ideal? Before holding the garage sale, clarify with the children what should happen with the money raised. The children could, for example, use the money for joint group activities or donate it to a charity of their choice.
Raising considerate, critical and empathic individuals can be a challenge. The good news is though, there are many resources available to support our efforts. For instance, I found out last weekend that my local council has a toy library. I was delighted because this will teach my daughter that she does not have to own things to enjoy them – one little puzzle piece to help her think sustainably.
Article author: Heike Hendershot
National Training Manager
With an extensive background in education and a fearless passion for collaborative learning environments, Heike manages the development and implementation of workshop content and supports the team of training facilitators at Little Scientists.