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Introducing IO Blocks Makerspace

Guidecraft is proud to introduce IO Blocks Makerspace as a free online resource for teachers, educators, and students interested in combining technology and design with the limitless opportunities of Guidecraft’s original building toy system, IO Blocks. Curated lessons on familiar subjects; such as insects, robots, and bridges, encourage children to explore the world around them using IO Blocks and 3D printed pieces of their own creation.

IO Blocks are Guidecraft’s friction fit building system influenced by virtual world design elements. Each of the 11 unique shapes are designed to a 1:1 ratio standard building unit. While playing with the toys, children become familiar with many concepts vital to understanding STEM concepts such as spatial and number sense, structure, and balance. These characteristics make IO Blocks an ideal physical model for introducing children to digital 3D design and product and part creation.

The IO Blocks Makerspace Community was created to deliver a complete platform to teachers and librarians interested in integrating 3D design into their curriculum. Students are asked to solve problems or tasks presented to them using their classroom’s IO Blocks set. Using 3D design programs, students can download and tinker with original IO Blocks shapes to create unique IO Blocks pieces that help accomplish their prompt or task. At the end of each lesson, students will have used problem solving, creativity, technical skills, and perseverance to accomplish their task.

Everyone is encouraged to share their designs, builds, and unique lessons on the Guidecraft IO Blocks Makerspace Community. All lessons and inspirational Makerspace submissions can be found there. The lessons and shape files (CADs) for the IO Blocks pieces may be download directly from the website. For more information about the IO Blocks Makerspace page, or to become a part of the IO Makerspace Community, please visit www.guidecraft.com/makerspace.

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The Impact of Natural Elements on Early Learning Spaces: A Global Perspective

Join EdWeb.net’s Webinar on Monday, May 21, from 3-4pm EST as our very own President, Gary Bilezikian, takes us on a global tour of Early Childhood Education from New Zealand, to Thailand, to Chile, to China — in search of nature-based environments that promote a holistic educational model. You’ll learn how the legal, cultural, political, and religious frameworks impact and shape our understanding of the environment. Gary will also discuss great products and ideas that will inspire how you think about your environment, as well as provide ideas and strategies to enhance organic experiences within the built environment.

Eight lucky attendees will win $250 worth of early childhood education products for their classrooms. Register here to sign up to participate in the session and please join Classroom Management for Early Learning Community to learn more about events like these.

Click here for a full recording of the webinar just in case you missed joining us live on Monday. See the webinar for more details on the chance to win Guidecraft products for your classroom!

 

Gary Bilezikian, President of Guidecraft

Gary Bilezikian, President of Guidecraft

About the Presenter:

Gary Bilezikian is a graduate of Pratt Institute’s Art and Design Education program. He taught art in the New York City public schools, was a children’s book author and illustrator, and founder of children’s new media, and furniture companies. For the past 20 years he has worked in product development, design, supply chain and compliance on children’s products in both the consumer and early childhood education markets. As President of Guidecraft, a provider of STEM-based toys and early childhood education furniture, his work focuses on the global early childhood education environment, and working towards a universal set of ideas and standards. He works in the United States and internationally with ECE distributors, as well as designers, architects, and educators to implement new ideas, products and strategies into the preschool landscape. He’s married to the fine artist Heidi Lanino, and lives in the Hudson Valley in New York State with their wonderful kids and pets.

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