Category Archives: Child Development

Review of My Book

Nice review of my book I just noticed on Amazon.  Thanks, Ann Wyman.  Glad you liked it. I recently read the book “Elementary Robotics” by John Heffernan and I recommend it to any teacher interested in starting a LEGO Robotics … Continue reading

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How To Make An Activity Timeline in EXCEL (Revised)

How do you produce a timeline of recurring activity types easily using EXCEL?  I had some trouble getting EXCEL to do this so I am sharing my technique here.  I use this in my research to characterize the engineering design … Continue reading

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Started Dissertation Research

I have started filming for my dissertation research.  It feels like a big step forward with so much leading up to this:  13 courses, pilot study, comps, dissertation proposal, and so much reading!  I will be filming 6 second grade … Continue reading

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Creativity and Elementary Engineering

In the theoretical framework of a new book called Engaging Young Engineers:  Teaching Problem Solving Skills Through STEM (Stone-Macdonald, Wendell, Douglass, Love, & Hyson, 2015), the authors posit that there are 5 kinds of thinking developed by teaching problem solving via STEM for early … Continue reading

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Summer Beach Reading

Bazeley, P., & Jackson, K. (2013). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. Sage Publications Limited. Coch, D., Fischer, K. W., & Dawson, G. (2010). Human behavior, learning, and the developing brain: Typical development. Guilford Press. Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, … Continue reading

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Elementary Robotics Book Talk – June 19, 2014 – Meekins Library, Williamsburg

Author’s Talk John Heffernan Elementary Robotics: Sustaining the Natural Engineering Instincts of Children Thursday, June 19, 2014 7 PM to 8 PM 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA 01341 413-268-7472 Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners are natural engineers. They love sand castles, … Continue reading

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Comprehensive Exam Proposal

Comprehensive Examination Proposal Elementary Robotics Case Study John Heffernan University of Massachusetts, Amherst March 19, 2014   Problem Statement Designerly play has been identified as a fundamental component of childhood learning (Baynes, 1994). Designerly play is supported in typical preschool … Continue reading

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Drumming Monkey – The Science of Rhythm

I have struggled for years with the science experiment part of the LEGO WeDo Drumming Monkey robot. The experiment workshop tells the students to write down “What I see or hear.” Without further instruction, second grade students tend to write … Continue reading

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Grade 3 Vehicle Challenge

Here are some photos from our grade 3 open ended challenge to design a WeDo vehicle.  I reviewed 3 ways to connect motor to wheels before they started: gears, pulleys, or direct drives. Students used the base WeDo kit. However, … Continue reading

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Design Based Science

A few of you may be interested in this literature review of design based science I just completed.  It reviews a good number of papers and studies that evaluate how science concepts and processes can be taught using design.  Design … Continue reading

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