1. Wendy Martin
  2. http://www.edc.org/wendy-martin
  3. Research Scientist
  4. IDEAS: Inventing, designing, and engineering on the autism spectrum
  5. Education Development Center
  1. Kristie Patten Koenig
  2. https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty/Kristie_Koenig
  3. Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy; Department Chair
  4. IDEAS: Inventing, designing, and engineering on the autism spectrum
  5. New York University
  1. Sylvia Perez
  2. https://nysci.org/people/sylvia-perez/
  3. Vice President of Education Services
  4. IDEAS: Inventing, designing, and engineering on the autism spectrum
  5. New York Hall of Science
Facilitators’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 06:28 p.m.

    Welcome to the video for the ITEST project,  IDEAS: Inventing, designing and engineering on the autism spectrum. My colleagues and I would love to get your feedback on what we're doing. I am particularly interested to hearing from those of you who have done collaborative co-design projects. We have a fantastic team that we've worked with, and I want to learn more from others about how to scale this kind of work to new schools and districts. If you have thoughts about that, or anything else about this project, we'll be happy to hear from you.

  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 09:34 a.m.

    I love that your project is working to increase inclusivity in making. This is an important perspective. Your video highlights a wonderful partnership between EDC, NYU, and NY Hall of Science. It is inspiring to hear the new perspectives that teachers gain from watching their students make. Great work.

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 11:22 a.m.

    Thanks Shelly!

  • Icon for: Sarah Wille

    Sarah Wille

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 01:04 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work! I love seeing such highly collaborative projects that recognize the importance of diverse expertise and perspectives, and that raise awareness of the importance of developing resources to help program facilitators/teachers better include youth on the spectrum. Can you talk a bit about your pilot period to test your adaptations? What are some big take-aways from that phase of the study, and how did the team incorporate them into the next phase of work?

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    Michael Dolges

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2018 | 02:51 p.m.

    Thank you for showcasing such a worthwhile program.  I had previously not been familiar with the ASD NEST Program.  What a great partnership you have developed with New York University through the IDEAS program.  This is the first STEM related program I have seen that targets students on the autism spectrum.   From my own classroom experience, I can attest to the creativity and different way of thinking and doing by students on the autism spectrum.  A program such as this, will foster that creativity and potentially tap into skills and metacognitive thinking that could go undiscovered.  

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 05:30 p.m.

    Hi Sarah, thanks for your question. Our pilot phase is almost done. One big take away is that the participating teachers were very capable of doing the adapted program this year, with the support of our engineering graduate students. I think this was because:

    1. they saw the whole program conducted last year in their school by a the NY Hall of Science maker expert, which allowed them to understand how to do the program with the resources available to them at their school, and they saw the power of playing the role of facilitator rather than instructor,

    2. they had multiple rounds of training in making and in the adapted curriculum, and

    3. they were involved in the development of the adaptations that were made, and

    4, they always had the engineering grad students to turn to if they needed help.

    It's so important to involve all the stakeholders, especially the educators, from the beginning because they know better than anyone what their students need to be successful. It's also essential to encourage them to have a maker mentality, and show the students that they can iterate on the program just as their students iterate on their projects. 

     
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    Pati Ruiz
    Sarah Wille
  • Icon for: Sarah Wille

    Sarah Wille

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 05:37 p.m.

    Thanks for your response, Wendy! I was recently involved in a research-practice project that asked how we might make high school CS more accessible for youth with learning disabilities and ADHD, and our expert practitioner & HS student side of the team was absolutely essential to even beginning to address that question, so I agree completely. As someone who also works with adults on the spectrum, these types of learning and making opportunities are such a great fit for so many diverse minds. Happy to see this work happening!

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 08:52 p.m.

    Thanks Michael and Sarah! I have been amazed not only by the projects but also the interactions and conversations I get to hear and take part in as a researcher on this project. It's been so much fun working with these creative kids.

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:14 a.m.

    Wendy, Kristie, and Sylvia:  I absolutely LOVE your project and the collaborative, constructive community you're fostering across student ability.  This will certainly have a long-lasting impact on all of your students.  I've read through your responses to the previous comments.  My biggest question at this moment are how you brought everyone up to speed on the specific objectives and needs of the students?  I see that you had all of teachers engaged in training, but what did you do for your engineering graduate students who would also be working to support and increase engagement for students with autism in these collaborative settings?  What barriers did you find, and how did you mitigate them, along the way?  

  • Icon for: Sylvia Perez

    Sylvia Perez

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 09:08 a.m.

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your comment and question. One of the main components that we built into this project was an ASD training for all partners to participate in at the start of the first year. It was important for all of us - NYSCI, EDC, grad students, etc - to have a strong foundational training that would help us better understand how to modify the curriculum for engaging students with autism even if we had worked in this field before. This was followed by meetings and trainings with the teachers and grad students on the maker curriculum so that we could share best practices and brainstorm modifications together. This ongoing collaboration throughout the planning and implementation helped ensure that we were making modifications throughout the project and addressing challenges together as a team. It also gave everyone especially the grad students ownership in the project by valuing their opinions and feedback. 

     
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    Pati Ruiz
  • Small default profile

    Kristie Koenig

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 11:30 a.m.

    Chris

    Thanks for you questions....I think another thing that is important is that when we interviewed the grad engineering students both of them had interest/background in working with students with disabilities. They were engaged from the start and the ASD specific training our professional development workshops by team at the NYU ASD Nest Support project run for teachers, therapists and administrators in the NYC Department of Education so they, and the teasm for NYSci and EDC joined along as well. My ASD people then did the maker training at NYSci...it has been a wonderful collaboration!!

     

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 09:06 a.m.

    Kristie and Sylvia, thank you both for your responses.  I was curious if the grad students had any direct interest beyond just the engineering.  Their personal engagement in working with these students certainly helps add in some buy-in.  I can also really appreciate the ownership piece.  I'm sure you noticed an amazing brain-trust within your project team when everyone feels their perspectives are valued.  I find this collaborative effort creates amazing trust and respect when I'm working directly with and supporting students with various disabilities in Geology.  Besides, I can't possibly know the diverse perspectives and experiences they have had.  I learn just as much, if not more, from them.  

    Regarding the training, is this something you pulled resources together and developed yourself?  If so, can you point to any of it online or share any of your materials?  Or maybe just an overview of your training?  

  • Icon for: Sylvia Perez

    Sylvia Perez

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 10:14 a.m.

    Hi Chris,

    I think being open to learn from your students is such an important factor and we learn everyday from our students as well!

    The maker training that we conducted for this project reflects a professional learning format that NYSCI has found to be most successful with educators. There may be adaptations to the format depending on the objective of the program but a typical training starts with a mini-activity or icebreaker that begins to lay the foundation of what is being covered in the training. Ex, Create your own light up name tag. It is fun, engaging and everyone dives in immediately to figure out how to make their name tag. This is then followed by group reflection and discussion on the activity. What were challenges or successes, what were the interactions like with your group, how did the facilitation of the activity impact your ability to do the activity? A combination of lesson modeling other activities (so that the teachers go through the same process that their students would) and reflection helps teachers to understand and be more comfortable with the content and pedagogy so that they can replicate the same hands-on activities back in their classroom or after school environment. There are various professional learning models but we found this works best when you have limited time with teachers (1-2 days). Co-teaching and debriefing afterwards is another layer of support that can be added and we were able to do that in this project as well. It is one thing to conduct an activity with a group of adults and quite another in a classroom with different types of learners. We knew that we would need to scaffold additional support in the classroom for all the educators to be comfortable with bringing these maker activities into their space for the first time.

     

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2018 | 12:30 p.m.

    Thank you, Sylvia. Very helpful info.  Good luck!

  • Icon for: Kristie Patten Koenig

    Kristie Patten Koenig

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:35 a.m.

    And responding logged in now...Thanks for your comments as well Sarah...would love to hear more about your work with adults!

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 03:20 p.m.

    There are so many interesting aspects about your project. My main questions are about your curriculum and the projects you have developed. Are those projects ones that you will be able to share with other educators and groups working with students with Autism?

    Your partnership also seems like it is working very well - other than what you share above, do you have recommendations for educators in other states and cities as they think about integrating a maker program in their after school environments?

  • Icon for: Sylvia Perez

    Sylvia Perez

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 09:18 a.m.

    We are working on finalizing the curriculum so that we can disseminate it on a broader scale. We currently have an internal draft but want to make sure that the format is easy to understand, read and implement for educators that may not be familiar with maker pedagogy or activities especially for after school educators. 

    My personal recommendations for educators thinking about integrating a maker program in their after school resources is to look for maker resources in your community or online. These resources are plentiful and can be adapted to suit your audience and available resources. Cultivate partnerships with local science centers/museums or organizations to help you get started, provide training for your staff or collaborate on projects together. For after school environments specifically, I would recommend to start with maker activities that require basic inexpensive materials or tools (recycled items, scissors, tape, wood, glue guns, etc) and challenging students to transform the form and function of those materials into something new. You would be surprised on how creative students can get with just cardboard and scissors!

     

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 12:58 p.m.

    Hi Pati and Chris;

    Thanks for your questions. We are keeping a list of people who are interested in accessing these resources when they become publicly available. Please send me an email (wmartin@edc.og) if you would like to be added to the list. The resources will likely be available next year (we have a final year of testing next year).

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    Lindsay Bank

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 07:26 p.m.

    Great program and opportunity for our ASD Nest students! 

  • Small default profile

    Christine Dai

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 07:26 p.m.

    What a wonderful opportunity to expose our students to STEM!

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 09:01 a.m.

    Thanks Lindsay and Christine! We're hoping to offer it to more Nest schools in the future.

  • Icon for: Kasey Powers

    Kasey Powers

    Researcher
    May 17, 2018 | 01:45 p.m.

    This is a great project. As a parent of a special kid I am becoming acutely aware as to how important it is to have programs with adapted curriculums along with teacher and staff training to understand ASD and ADHD. We love NYSci.

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 02:00 p.m.

    Hi Kasey;

    We certainly love NYSCI too! We could not have done this without them. They have been fantastic partners in this journey. NYSCI is not only an excellent science museum and leader in maker education, but they are very interested in supporting children with special needs and interests, in formal and informal education.

  • Icon for: Kathryn Lewis

    Kathryn Lewis

    K-12 Administrator
    May 19, 2018 | 12:52 a.m.

    Wonderful and very interesting work.  What are plans for expanding to other audiences?

  • Icon for: Wendy Martin

    Wendy Martin

    Lead Presenter
    May 19, 2018 | 07:46 a.m.

    Hi Kathryn;

    We've been thinking about how to scale the program and reach more students. Certainly we will have the materials available from the NY Hall of Science and the ASD Nest Support Project websites, hopefully next year. We also want to go into more schools in New York City, possibly working with some younger or older students. We also are talking about expanding to other districts. I saw what you are working on in the Norman OK school district. It's a great idea to bring making into the school day through libraries. How have students with disabilities responded to your project?

  • Icon for: H Chad Lane

    H Chad Lane

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 21, 2018 | 10:51 a.m.

    Just wanted to echo all of the praise from the other commenters - I'm so impressed with this application of Making and how it is positioned to broaden participation. You are probably aware of Autcraft, but if not, it is well worth a look in case you venture into digital Making or 3D printing (a common application of creations in Minecraft), and want to leverage that as another way to reach kids with Austism. The video was wonderful, thanks so much for putting it together!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.