We are thrilled that Leonardo’s Workshop is coming to Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! We talked with Amy Vecchioni about Leonardo’s Workshop. Started in the Fall of 2016, Leonardo’s Workshop’s mission is to “ to create intellectual and physical space for students to direct their own creativity and to pursue their own interests.” She explains, “Leonardo’s Workshop or the Maker Movement is not just about a cool space or a bunch of fancy stuff. It’s a mindset—trusting children’s desire to imagine and create.”
Amy Vecchioni explains that Leonardo’s Workshop is “1) a practice of Genius Hour and design thinking in the art room’s curriculum… 2) a Makerspace in the art room equipped with a variety of choice-based art, construction and technological media and tools… 3) an after-school Maker camp where students explore the connections between art and science and expand concepts of creativity in addition to acting as a laboratory to test innovative ideas for the classroom.” Camp sessions include Leonardo da Vinci/Art History/Literary Connection, Design Thinking Studio, LAUNCH: Gallery Walk and discussion, and da Vinci Notebook (Journal/Documentation). Students learn about design thinking — “ a way for us to approach a challenge to work through errors, alternative options and celebrations in a framework that appreciates “successes” and “failures” equally.”
For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, Leonardo’s Workshop plans to bring “three sessions of Leonardo’s Workshop (grades 3-5, 45 students) and our 5 th grade Sphero & Coding Camp after school projects. Leonardo’s Workshop will showcase our Marble LAUNCH Design Challenge, Drawing Robot Design Challenge and our Original Connection Circuit Design Challenge. Our Sphero Team will showcase their coding experiments and projects including their Chariot Design Challenge and Coding Abstract Expressions Design Challenge.”
We look forward to seeing the projects of Leonardo’s Workshop students on May 6th!
Elisa Shoenberger is a writer and oral historian in Chicago. She has written for Ozy, the Billfold, LoveTV, Rebellious Magazine, the Reset, the City Creatures blog for the Center for Humans and Nature. She is the co-editor and co-founder of the Antelope Magazine. You can check out her blog Not Without Her Bowler Hat.