- use what you have
- process over product
- work with your hands (tangible creativity)
- self-directed approaches
- a reaction against the "mysterious, closed" world of computers
- it's an effort to get back to creativity on our own terms
Here's what we built
The most successful groups are those who test things out before they build them. Kids are most successful at this. For example, they put the marshmallow on top. If it falls they try something else. Trial and error has its merits!
Planning A Maker Activity
1. The Challenge: Outline the objectives and instructions. Provide the building materials. Students are then able to ask clarifying questions and examine the building materials.
2. Strategy: As facilitator, answer inquiries and suggest approaches. Students then brainstrom solutions and sketch plans/ideas.
3. Build/make: Offer selective guidance. Students build prototypes and experiment with materials.
4. Share: Be sure to set parameters and expectations. Students can document their, or others', solutions (e.g. take photos), explain their stucture and tell stories.
5. Reflect: Post open-ended questions. Students reflect on successes and failures, compare their solutions with those of others, imagine what they might do next time.
Lego: Build And Connect
We built a lego guy on a time limit and number of pieces limit, then we were given a list of topics and we had to make up a story for our object that fit in with a topic we chose from the list. My example? This is a vessel for Deep Sea Fishing.
The Maker's challenge here was to build a structure that would hold the weight of the marshmallow as high as possible. We were given 20 pieces of spaghetti, string, about 1m of tape and a marshmallow. Very interesting.
The key learning benefit of Maker Spaces is that by building something, you have to talk and collaborate. You can learn much from reflecting on what happened. You can tap into student's imaginations, and inspire some new story ideas.