Teaching with Objects

Teaching with Objects

Megan K. Halpern and Isaac Record

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 11:30 - 1:30

1425 BPS

Lunch Provided


Most of us know that hands-on learning can be valuable. But how can we integrate hands-on experiences with objects outside of very small classes or laboratory settings? In this session of STEM Teaching Essentials, we model teaching with objects by demonstrating two examples that integrate hands-on learning in a lecture or seminar setting. We provide tips and best practices for four stages of thinking about these activities: (1) aligning hands-on activities with course goals, (2) preparing the materials prior to class, (3) how to manage the classroom when you inject material engagement into it, and (4) how to evaluate the success of your hands-on activity.


Megan K. Halpern is an Assistant Professor in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science Group at Lyman Briggs College and in the Residential College of Arts and Humanities. Her research interests include art science studies, public engagement and science communication, as well as research through design and speculative design. She earned her PhD in Science Communication at Cornell University and completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, where she worked with the Center for Science and the Imagination to develop and research their futurist festival, Emerge: Artists + Scientists Redesign the Future. She has co-created performances with artists and scientists in New York City, with her company, Redshift Productions, and at Cornell University. She was also an interaction designer at Cornell’s Interaction Design Lab, where she created SunDial, a geocaching adventure around Ithaca’s Sciencenter, MoBoogie, an app that fosters creative expression through movement, and Frontstage, an audience participation system using mobile phones and tablets.

Isaac Record is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Lyman Briggs College, where he teaches courses in philosophy of science, science and technology studies, and critical making. His research seeks to situate our epistemic and ethical circumstances within a network of values, capabilities, and material and social technologies. Isaac holds a PhD and MA from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto and a BS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine.

Video of the Workshop