“Square in a square”
In the first science workshop, we had puzzle activity called “square in a square” last week. There were two parts in this activity, the first part was making a square with variety shapes including small and big triangles and other pieces, and the second part was making a bigger square with the same pieces that used in the first part adding a little square. In figure 1, we could put the pieces together to make a square in a short amount of time, but when we got the small square in figure 2, we needed explanation of how it works and therefore, found it harder than the previous one.
Through this activity, I learnt the importance of participant in the learning process. We as participants, when we got the pieces of puzzle, we felt curious and excited because we were curious about how these pieces can make a square, but we could make the square very easily in the figure 1. However, in the figure 2, we were stuck as the small square was added. We concentrated more in making a square because we really wanted to create a way of making the big square and finally we solved it. If we did not have interest or curiosity on making the square, we were not able to form the square, and this showed the importance of participant. I think being a participant is the most important thing to children. Even though children are naturally scientists, they need guidance and structure to turn their natural curiosity and interest. Once children participate on the activity, it “drives them to explore and draw conclusions and theories from their experiences”. Therefore, if teacher helps children to get interested and curiosity of this puzzle activity, children would very enjoy this activity. Secondly, I realised that this activity had some similarities with science and this was very impressive. As trial and error is an essential ingredient to science, we had many trials and some errors during the puzzle activity, we also modified the way of making the square, which we experience in the figure 1, when the small square was added during the figure 2 and this is similar to “doing” science which is “New information may require the old theory to be modified or discarded” (Choi, 2004). When teachers explain how this activity is similar to “doing” science, children could understand about science and they would think that science is always next them.
I found interesting puzzle on the Internet. It forms similar with the puzzle that I used in the activity. I chose this because it could be used to develop children’s problem solving skills, logical thinking and creativity. Children would learn about variety shapes and also they could explore their own ideas through this puzzle. I would use this puzzle to make various shapes with pieces of puzzle and also I would encourage children to make square so they can put it into puzzle box. I can talk with children about why it works in this way. Through this, children would develop logical thinking and problem solving skills.