2022 will be the inaugural year for the Remake Learning Days Festival in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where hands-on learning events will happen from May 12 through May 23. The festival will allow youth, families, grandparents, caregivers, educators and others in the Northeast region to explore creative and fun ways of learning.
“For me and the team that’s been supporting me along the way, it is our first Remake Learning Days Festival,” says Dr. Rich Mackrell, assistant director of STEM and innovative practices at IU18. “We’re definitely excited and looking forward to it.”
Now more than ever, the hands-on learning environment created by the festival is valuable for students who may have had a rocky experience the last few years due to COVID-19. And getting these learning experiences alongside their parents makes all the difference.
“During the pandemic, there was the virtual at-home learning that parents did get to see what their kids do every day,” says Dr. Mackrell. “I really liked the idea of, based on student’s personal interest, that the parents are involved.”
But while parents got some exposure to their child’s education during remote learning, there have been few events where parents or caregivers could come into classrooms to experience learning with their child now that most kids are back in school.
“Typically, as kids learn throughout the day, their parents are absent from the learning process, and they don’t really get to see their kids learn,” says Dr. Mackrell. So it’s especially valuable that Remake Learning Days events welcome the whole family. “This is definitely something where the caregiver and the student are learning side-by-side,” Mackrell says.
Learning side-by-side helps caregivers discover and expand upon the child’s personal interests, and helps the whole family feel inspired to learn new things. Family-engaged learning can also reinforce the bond between kids and their caregivers.
4 Events to Look Forward to in Northeast PA this May 12-23
- 5/18- Family Science Night: The Wonder of Songbirds: Through activities and a game, participants will learn about bird behaviors and how their own bird sightings can contribute to scientific research at Nescopeck State Park.
- 5/13- Superstars: Families can join a unique class designed for individuals with special needs where participants can develop motor skills, stamina and strength through music and dancing at the YMCA.
- 5/15- The Art and Science of Hair Color: Kids and grownups can learn about the art and science of hair color with help from a cosmetology educator at Da Vinci Science Center.
- 5/11 & 5/25- STEM at the Ballpark: Visitors can join the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders to explore STEM careers, challenges and interactive displays throughout their game.
The Northeast festival will feature events in all areas of learning, including STEM, youth voice and art.
“I think the idea that kids are having a unique learning experience outside of their regularly scheduled school time with their parents is in the student’s best educational interests,” says Dr. Mackrell. “We’re interested in areas where the parent may not have recognized [their child’s interest].
This inaugural festival would not be possible without partnerships and sponsors. RLD Northeast PA worked with multiple intermediate units and different regional partners. Connections were built between the intermediate units, students and school districts.
“[We] formed those connections between students that are in the school districts and community resources that, in many cases, the students may not be aware they still exist after the pandemic,” says Dr. Mackrell. “Libraries, YMCA, small business all have had a hand, and are a really great resource that I think built our repertoire to connect the dots.”