Press release from Fair Haven School District
Recently, a group of eight students from Knollwood School joined Chris Aviles, EdTech Coach for the Fair Haven School District, in a special “Maker Faire” event that allowed participants an opportunity to experience some of the latest trends in 3D printing, robotics, coding, and more.
The event, held at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers location in Eatontown, took place between November 6-8. Event sponsors included such tech companies as Ozobot, SPRK, and Protocol.
Barnes and Noble representatives invited Aviles and his students to participate during an “Innovation Lab” program offered to fifth and sixth graders at Knollwood School. The EdTech Coach agreed, and on November 7 the eight Knollwood students helped facilitate two hands-on workshops — a “Little Makers” session for ages 5 and up, and “Junior Makers” for ages 8 and up — that allowed youngsters to explore the creation of structures using Lego brand building materials.
“I really enjoy my time in Innovation Lab because there are so many different options for what we can work on,” said RJ McCormack, one of the students on hand at the event. “It’s really fun because you get to ‘choose your curriculum’.”
“For example, we can disassemble IPhones, tablets, or cameras, as well as work with Minecraft or on coding…we’ve even taken bicycles apart and reassembled them to make ‘new’ bicycles for people who need them.”
Aviles also addressed attendees as part of a series of “Meet the Maker” presentations, held each day of the “Maker Faire” to allow local “makers” — thought leaders and educators — to inform participants about the latest trends in designing, building, and creating. Aviles spoke about the importance of “making” and student-centered learning.
One of only about a dozen individuals worldwide with Google Lead Learner credentials, Aviles is also a Google Certified Trainer and Innovator. As EdTech Coach, his responsibilities include training staff and teaching students at Viola L. Sickles and Knollwood Schools in the use of technology.