Christa Flores

About Christa Flores

Christa Flores

Hillbrook School, United States - I am the coordinator of the iLab for Making, a classroom designed for analog and digital making, at the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, California. I teach 5th graders Problem based Science in the iLab with an emphasis on material science, design, engineering and working in collaborative teams. I also teach a year long product design course to 6th graders using the design thinking process and rapid prototyping techniques made available through digital fabrication tools such as a laser cutter and 3-D printer.


Posts by Christa Flores

Informal Maker Programs Make Deep Connections

by on April 24, 2017 7:09 pm
Ten months ago, I left the familiarity of the formal classroom setting in pursuit of practices in constructionism, free of the tyranny of standardardized testing and a one size fits all curriculum.  While driving from coast to coast and back again, I visited some truly inspiring makerspaces. From the woods of New Hampshire, to the… Read more Informal Maker Programs Make Deep Connections

Innovation Literacy and the STEM Monster

by on November 6, 2016 9:36 pm
Ask…. and ye shall answer your own questions “I hope to apply a strong focus on place-based making and science while here in Atlanta…I also noticed that this year’s research panel was very program and project focused, or more practical in nature. This gives me hope that higher education is stepping up to the plate… Read more Innovation Literacy and the STEM Monster

Big Collaboration: Lessons from BEAM Camp for Making and Collaboration, New Hampshire

by on July 27, 2016 8:47 pm
Introduction In previous blogs I have written about my students engaging in a spring hard problem each year.  After learning new tools, material science and the basics of patterns and  structures, these projects are a deep design challenge that students engage in for an entire semester in teams of four to five. The level of… Read more Big Collaboration: Lessons from BEAM Camp for Making and Collaboration, New Hampshire

Designing for Constructionism and Learner Autonomy

by on July 7, 2016 8:08 pm
Every learner deserves a space to go to every day that will expose them to the beauty of the world and the intrepid explorer that they truly are. How can learning spaces cultivate this goal while encouraging constructive autonomy in the youngest of learners? Two spaces that I have had the pleasure of visiting have… Read more Designing for Constructionism and Learner Autonomy

Constructionism, a Learning Theory and a Model for Maker Education

by on April 24, 2016 7:11 pm
In response to a literal call for #HELP on Twitter, I pulled together  three blogs from various resources. This is blog 3 of 3 to help construct my own knowledge on the topics of making in schools and the two learning theories constructivism and constructionism.  Constructionism, a Learning Theory Centuries in the Making Standing on a foundation… Read more Constructionism, a Learning Theory and a Model for Maker Education

Constructivist Science

by on April 23, 2016 7:02 pm
In response to a literal call for #HELP on Twitter, I pulled together three blogs from various resources. This is blog 2 of 3 to construct my own knowledge on the topics of making in schools and the two learning theories constructivism and constructionism.  Constructivist Science The idea that each individual should learn through direct experience rather… Read more Constructivist Science

A Science Teacher’s Take on Constructivism & Constructionism

by on April 23, 2016 6:56 pm
In response to a literal call for #HELP on Twitter, I pulled together the following three blogs from various resources. This was not as easy of a task as I was hoping, but I continue to model the use of constructionism with materials like words to force me to better understand, aka construct my own knowledge on… Read more A Science Teacher’s Take on Constructivism & Constructionism

Materials and Making, a mariage of Science, Art and Storytelling

by on March 22, 2016 5:38 pm
We Live in a Material World How often do you take the time to examine the materials that the world around you is composed of? It is not a practice that we are accustomed to doing consciously. Once we learn the names of things – that stuff is plastic, that is metal, that is wood… Read more Materials and Making, a mariage of Science, Art and Storytelling

The Science of Design, Hillbrook's Spring Hard Problem 2016

by on March 22, 2016 5:22 pm
Hillbrook’s 5th grade, the class of 2019, has embarked on this year’s spring hard problem, a semester long deep project in science that addresses rigorous research practices, as well as a challenging engineering and design prompt. What makes the spring hard problem so hard? In the spring students are asked to apply everything they have… Read more The Science of Design, Hillbrook's Spring Hard Problem 2016

Making Middle School Science

by on September 5, 2015 1:21 am
In 2011, I became the 5th and 6th grade science teacher at the Hillbrook School. That same year the school undertook an audit of the science program for areas of strength, as well as areas for improvement. Simultaneously, the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasizing problem solving and engineering, had just been released, and that spring… Read more Making Middle School Science

Archived Blog Posts by Christa Flores