We have created an internet-connected leaf-cutter ants nest, based in MMUs John Dalton building. The nest generates a live-feed of both imagery and movement data (the ants trigger a counter as they pass key points in the nest) – and young people are able to suggest experiments around which this data will be formed (what happens if you play classical music at one end of the nest?).
The next step is to ‘educatify’ this resource: generating as many different forms of learning. These might range to direct study of the behaviour of ants, through to understanding scientific method, understanding of evolutionary traits – or cross disciplinary use of the ants as a stimuli (stories about the hive? Art produced using the data or imagery produced?).
MMU Funologists is a team project involving students and staff from any MMU department who are using ‘serious’ play to help STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) learning happen. We love tinkering, making things and chatting about it. Come and play, seriously!
When we play interesting things happen. Lots of research shows that this is a key way to find out more about the world and solve problems. So if play is so good. Why don’t we do more of it?
What Next: Our first event is a Creative Space Seminar with Mark Peace
Why: To have fun, seriously! We will share opportunities for you to get involved in game or making based learning in different settings including primary, secondary, home education and volunteer run youth clubs.