TMS received nearly $100,000 from the Champlin Foundations for the SMALLab project -- which supports Tiverton Middle School teachers and
students in building science inquiry skills through embodied, mediated
learning experiences. Physically, SMALLab (Situated Multimedia Arts
Learning Laboratory) is a 15’W x 15’W x 12’H freestanding, interactive
space. SMALLab is the type of student-centered learning environment that
can improve learning and motivate students by opening new pathways to
learning (think Nintendo DS and Wii!).
The goal of SMALLab+ is
to raise student engagement and achievement in science. The funds were used to purchase a SMALLab and four mobile labs for
science instruction (one laptop cart for each grade-level team of
science teachers) designed for high-level authoring tools that allow
students and teachers to create their own interactive learning scenarios
for SMALLab. This kind of kinesthetic interactivity means students see,
hear, and physically feel the experience. For instance, in a SMALLab,
students can grab a wand, twist and shake it around, and learn things
like physics and chemistry in the process.