MIT and Cambridge University academic Seymour Papert said “children learn best when they are actively engaged in constructing something that has a personal meaning to them - be it a poem, a robot, a sandcastle or a computer program”
It is with this spirit in mind that Neurons was designed, and will continue to be enhanced, to help nurture and develop your child's knowledge, skills and self-esteem.
The Neurons team have created a diverse range of activities; from coding to creative writing, dance to LEGO, photography to film-making and lots more besides. Whatever your child is interested in, there will be a Neurons activity for them. However, we hope that this is not limited to what they already have an interest in or passion for. That passion may even be found in something new. You can see the full range of topics here.
Neurons activities are designed by our team and select invited artists. Every activity draws inspiration from Mitchel Resnick's 'Creative Learning Spiral' and his philosophy of "projects, peers, passion and play". Resnick's opening paragraph from his paper succinctly describes the challenge faced by today's children:
"We live in a world that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Today’s children will face a continual stream of new issues and unexpected challenges in the future. Many things that they learn today will be obsolete tomorrow. To thrive, they must learn to design innovative solutions to the unexpected problems that will undoubtedly arise in their lives. Their success and satisfaction will be based on their ability to think and act creatively. Knowledge alone is not enough: they must learn how to use their knowledge creatively."
The four P's of creative learning defined by Mitchel Resnick are outlined below, followed by a brief explanation of how Neurons has adopted each philosophy.
People learn best when they are actively working on meaningful projects – generating new ideas, designing prototypes, refining iteratively.
The range of topics and activities within Neurons provide meaningful projects for every child, and are purposely designed to encourage children to develop their own ideas and to enhance them using their own initiative.
Learning flourishes as a social activity, with people sharing ideas, collaborating on projects, and building on one another’s work.
Neurons provides a private, moderated, safe community to facilitate learners. Each activity provides guidance on how to use the Creative Community to engage with other learners in a positive manner to reinforce learning for all members.
When people work on projects they care about, they work longer and harder, persist in the face of challenges, and learn more in the process.
The Neurons help desk will be on hand to help in any way possible. Our regular webinars will also help drive the passion that lays within every child.
Learning involves playful experimentation – trying new things, tinkering with materials, testing boundaries, taking risks, iterating again and again.
Each Neurons activity contains a scaffolded learning approach with clear progression. The "Find out" and "Do this" sections provide guided support for the learner during the early stages of undertaking an activity. As they progress, their imagination flourishes within the "Try this" and "What can you do?" sections. These encourage playful exploration and the realisation of new ideas. It is for this reason that Neurons provide meaningful activities for such a wide age range of learners.