Back to SchoolIt’s back to school time and back to learning.  Well, learning in the traditional, classroom sense.  But, did you know that taking the summer off was actually a good thing?  It’s true!  According to BrainScape, the brain is a highly dynamic organ, but it can only take in so much before it becomes overwhelmed.  However, that won’t get you off the hook from homework this September.  In fact, it means that you definitely need to get back to using your brain to help keep it in shape.

Keep Your Brain in Shape

The brain needs regular challenges, such as solving puzzles, taking courses, and learning new languages, to stay sharp.  It’s important to remember that the neurons in your brain never become fixed, contrary to past scientific beliefs, which means your brain’s wiring can change and grow and adapt at any age!  This is called neuroplasticity, defined as:

“The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.” –medicinenet.com

Stress Affects Learning

Did you also know that the ability to learn isn’t just based on your raw IQ?  Our emotional state can have a major impact on how well we can learn new things!  In other words, for example, if you are feeling stressed or uncomfortable about going back to school, learning may prove more challenging.  The brain literally blocks access to higher learning when under duress.

Failure is a Good Thing

In our society, failure is often considered a bad thing and causes stress, particularly in school.  Ironically, research shows that failure is essential to learning.

“A recent study found that students performed better in school and felt more confident when they were told that failure was a normal part of learning, bolstering a growing body of research that suggests the same conclusion.” -Amanda Moritz-Saladino

Back to Makerspace

Makerspaces are a way to bridge this gap. Project-based opportunities encourage learners to be creative and engage higher-order problem solving through trial and error.  Makerspace learning empowers students, helping them take control of their feelings around learning, therefore making them happier.  The final result is not just a final product, but rather a powerful and positive learning experience.

“What is made may not matter at all; it can still influence the thought process, vision, and ability to connect of a learning maker.  These abilities can enhance a person’s thinking and work in many different fields.” – Laura Fleming

So, if you haven’t tried out a makerspace yet, this September might be time.  Back to school.  Back to makerspace.

And then some,

Your Friends @ OBP