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This project was designed to look deeper into different modes of learning and seeing how middle school age children react to the same materials taught in different ways. We think that science should not be pure memorization Also, we believe that prototyping should be first taught in lower level education instead of in higher education since it teaches very valuable lessons on how to make mistakes and how to communicate your ideas effectively with others via multiple ways.

Academic Research:

We looked into studies on learning for the most part since we are in PDI and we already have pretty sufficient knowledge on what prototyping should be and what the spirit of making should be.

  1. “Accretion, Tuning and Restructuring: Three Modes of Learning” by David E Rumelhart and Donald A Norman. This article mainly talks about 3 different phases that happens in the process of learning and how different people with different levels of knowledge on the same topic can perform differently. We read this article and believe that we can use some of the methods discussed in this article in our design activity with the middle schoolers.
  2. “Visual and Spatial Modes in Science Learning” is an article that tackles into how visual and spiritual thinking can be added into science learning to aid creativity, the building of mental models and communication. We read this article and learn how we could teach creativity and communication through some simple activities
  3. In the article by Cannon and Edmondson, group working, learning from failures and innovation were all teamed together as a topic. This article studied how organizations can effectively learn from their own failures and then make innovative constructive improvements. We saw this article as a guide for middle schoolers too since we need to teach children from a young age that failing is okay and how they can come back from failures and do better next time.
  4. The fourth article is a study on how the use of technology in middle school classroom leads to success. Even though this study was done on the subject of podcasting and adding digital technologies to classrooms, it is not hard to imagine adding digital softwares that aids designs and scientific research to classrooms. We believe that by teaching children how to do low profile prototyping can help them ease into learning how to make more complicated models with the help of technology and our activity can actually have some long lasting effect in the students’ academic endeavor.



  • Rumelhart, David E, and Donald A Norman. “Accretion, Tuning and Restructuring: Three Modes of Learning.” DEFENSE TECHNICAL INFORMATION CENTER, Aug. 1976, www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/ADA030406.
  • Ramadas, Jayashree. “Introduction to the Special Issue on “Visual and Spatial Modes in Science Learning”.” International Journal of Science Education, vol. 31, no. 3, 2009, pp. 297–299., doi:10.1080/09500690802595755.
  • Cannon, Mark D, and Amy C Edmondson. “Executive Summary: Failing to Learn and Learning to Fail (Intelligently):How Great Organizations Put Failure to Work to Innovate and Improve.” Long Range Planning, vol. 38, no. 3, 2005, p. 232., doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2005.04.011.
  • Anderson, Larry S. “Podcasting: Transforming Middle Schoolers into ‘Middle Scholars’: An Innovative Seventh-Grade Teacher Has Turned Her Students into Expert Podcasters by Integrating the New Apple Technology into Her Daily Curriculum.” Technological Horizons In Education, vol. 33, ser. 5, Dec. 2005. 5.