Mataio is a fun loving robot who loves to play, explore and build with his friends.
PIEFEST has launched “Mataio’s Maker Mondays”, a series of monthly Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities related to maker education. Maker education is a learning approach that empowers children to create, innovative, and tinker to turn their ideas into reality. Named after the PIEFEST robot logo, Mataio’s Maker Mondays aim to facilitate meaningful maker education experiences for all children.
Many maker activities are project-based and focus on real-world scenarios, like building a bridge, designing a windmill, or creating a car. This real-world application helps children develop their problem-solving and critical thinking skills. “Making” also encourages children to use what is around them, like recycled materials, instead of purchasing materials. These experiences can be transformational for children, encouraging them to look at the world differently and see themselves as “creators” instead of “consumers.”
Maker education can provide a strong foundation for early childhood development. Maker education fosters children’s imagination through hands-on learning. Through these experiences, children can further understand the world around them and how they can make a difference in it. Engaging in project-based learning also helps children develop a growth mindset, which can help them persist through challenges, change their original thinking, and see possibilities instead of becoming discouraged.
The Pacific Islander culture has a rich history of innovation, exploration, and ingenuity rooted in STEM. We believe that STEM and maker education go hand in hand. Many maker education projects integrate science, technology, engineering, and math. As maker projects get more advanced, like programming a robot, children practice solving more open-ended challenges. By challenging children to innovate, use critical thinking, and find solutions to problems, maker education can help children gain foundational skills needed for their continued STEM learning.
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