Our Places | River Bank Centre
What is the River Bank Centre?
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My vision for “River Bank Centre” is a place for Research, Design & Technology Centre.
Using Technology to create Digital Story Telling, where we remember our ‘identity, sense of place and history of the Christchurch’.
My idea for the ‘Ōtākaro Loop Reach’ is “River Bank Centre”, based at Avonside Girls’ High School.
The “River Bank Centre could include:
Studios, Learning Spaces, Exhibition Spaces, STEAM Businesses, Day/Night Classes, KidsFest Program etc.
Think: Science Alive, Weta Digital, Imagination Station, Code Club Aotearoa, The VR Room, The Mind Lab, Ministry of Awesome, Callaghan Innovation, Interactive Exhibition Specialists (IES), Nigel Ogle’s Tawhiti Museum, Hawera etc.
Who was Richard Bedward Owen and why was he called “River Bank” Owen?
While doing research, I found out about Richard Bedward Owen (1873 – 1948), “River Bank” Owen.
Since then I have wanted to find a way to honor his legacy, somewhere in the “Red Zone Futures: Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor.”
He was a tailor, business owner and established his own highly successful enterprise, Owen’s Ltd.
He became immersed in public affairs, deeply interested in music, President of the Woolston Brass Band, honorary secretary and then director of the Royal Christchurch Musical Society.
He joined the Christchurch Beautifying Association, and was a committee member from 1923, and then President from 1933 – 36.
His particular interest was ‘the improvement of the Avon River and its environs’.
Why do we need to “Get Creative” at the River Bank Centre?
“How to help kids innovate from an early age:
As community makerspaces begin to take root in Ontario’s elementary schools, students are behaving better. They are also getting higher grades.
What are makerspaces? They’re creative spaces where students can gather to explore, tinker, discover and create, and they’re making students more enthusiastic about school.
In these spaces students are learning how to tinker collaboratively with a problem and keep trying until they find a solution. They are learning to be thinkers, innovators and problem-solvers rather than mere consumers of information. And these are just some of the benefits teachers are reporting.
Makerspaces support hands-on exploration and learning. They are most often associated with STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math). But really, they’re interdisciplinary, promoting important educational principles such as inquiry, play, imagination, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving and passion-based learning.
They arise from the wider maker movement and they are emerging now in formal education settings globally.
Teachers in all participating schools stated that their students are more engaged and more motivated when they are learning in a makerspace environment.
They also noticed a reduction in discipline problems. And they recorded improvements in academic achievement, particularly among students with learning disabilities and those who struggle in a traditional classroom setting.
Giving students the freedom to pursue projects that are authentic, meaningful and based on their own “wonderings” or passions has provided opportunities for a more personalized and inclusive learning experience for all students.
Teachers also observed that a variety of 21st-century skills and competencies were developed as a result of the makerspaces, such as problem-solving, communication, collaboration and the development of perseverance. Collaboration was one of the most highly reported competencies developed across all schools.
What’s particularly noteworthy is that the increase in collaboration emerged not just among the students, but the teachers and staff, as well. Inter-generational and bi-directional learning occurred between students and teachers, peers and students of different ages.
Having a maker mindset is key. In order for schools to establish a true makerspace, there must be buy-in and a commitment from staff, students and the wider community — to establish a culture of innovation, trial-and-error, problem-solving, persevering through difficult tasks, learning from mistakes and taking risks.”
“Most of my students are fully engaged with the modern world of tech. They have embraced their tech obsession by learning how to use CNC routers, laser cutters and 3D printers when they build furniture.
Unfortunately, their interactions with these tools involve handing a program file to a service desk and returning hours later to pick up the milled, cut or layered object.
I have noticed, however, an increasingly larger group of upper-year students creating objects in wood, metal and plastic shops where they are bucking the hi-tech obsession and using more traditional building methods.
They’re using tools like rulers, saws and chisels rather than the hands-off methods promoted at art institutions to finely craft objects.
Many of them, after having been exposed to the high-tech side of what a well-equipped institution has to offer, change direction to embrace a more hands-on, traditional way of making and ultimately learning.
These students, after graduating, end up being builders of things — and not very interested in creating objects without having some physical input into its creation.
It’s a mistake to assume there will be no need for people who create, who build, who have manual skills. There will always be an appetite for craftsmanship, for art and for the work only human hands can truly bring to life.
Art and design schools would be wise to remember that.”
“Community makerspaces are becoming a widespread phenomenon. Makerspaces are creative spaces where people gather to tinker, create, invent, and learn. The maker movement was borne out of the increasing number of people who creatively engage in both physical (or tangible) and digital fabrication to solve an existing problem or need and to share their design and making with a community of like-minded innovators. The increasing popularity of the maker movement and makerspaces is not surprising to MAKE magazine founder Dale Dougherty; as Dougherty argues in his 2011 TED Talk, we are all makers.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) paradigms have recently re-emerged as a medium for creative expression and self-directed learning. As they gain popularity, these DIY models, rooted in design thinking and innovation, are beginning to move into the realm of formal education. In educational realms, the maker movement is associated primarily with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or with STEAM (which adds a focus on embedding the Arts into STEM). More generally, maker pedagogies promote important principles including inquiry, play, imagination, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and personalized learning. Maker pedagogies build on project- and problem-based learning, design thinking, and remixing practices, all of which are often highlighted in media-literacy programs.
What distinguishes a makerspace from a place where people make stuff is the inherent culture. A makerspace is much more than the equipment that is housed there. A makerspace should be committed to a culture of innovation and should provide the skills and foundation that students need to succeed in this kind of learning environment. A maker culture promotes risk-taking, learning from mistakes, problem-solving, and developing an ability to persevere when tasks are difficult. It also fosters higher-order thinking skills and opportunities to share learning at local and global community levels through Maker Faires and websites such as Instructables, Thingiverse, and DIY.”
River Bank Centre Links
– Christchurch City Libraries: Richard Bedward Owen (1873-1948)
– ‘Rich Man, Poor Man, Environmentalist, Thief’ By Richard Greenaway
– Richard Bedward Owen, on R.T. Stewart’s river sweeper
– https://christchurch.bibliocommons.com/item/show/733424037 Make Space Book