Makerspace. Is it a place? A buzzword? A mindset? Or is it something more. Makerspace is an environment where a person can go to freely create. This could be a workshop, classroom, computer, or simply sitting under a tree with paper and pen. It is a welcoming space where a learner can gain confidence and competence while developing their strengths and interests. It’s more than a set of tools or the latest gadgets, it’s a way of thinking and doing.
The students started their day by completing the Design Challenge. They had to devise a bridge that spanned two fixtures (chair and table for example) and could transport a ping pong ball across without the ball falling off. The complexity of the challenge was increased in three ways this week. First, the students had a reduced amount of time to plan and build. Second, they self-selected their groups with certain criteria: they could not be from the same school, must work with someone new, and must work with someone they think they would be able to work well with. Last, scoring was added to the challenge. They would receive 1 point for every 5cm in length of the bridge, 10 points if the ball did not fall off, and up to 20 points based on their self-reflected collaboration. The students came up with creative designs including tubes and straw/craft stick rail systems.
After lunch the students explored different maker stations. They had a choice to create using digital or physical materials. With Toontastic, students could create their own 3D stories and animate them using a variety of settings and characters. Using Lego Story Starter students could plan a story and build the setting and characters. The finished movies were imported into iMovie and sound effects and music could be added. The Clay station allowed students to sketch a magical creature that had powers which could protect the environment. After sketching the creature the students would shape it out of clay and post a picture of it in Seesaw where they could explain its powers. Makedo brought cardboard creations to life! The students had to sketch a design, create a scale template detailing the size of the creation, and then transfer the template to cardboard. Once all the pieces were cut out, they could assemble their design using the Makedo screwdriver and screws. At the water pipeline station students had to create a system to transport water from one are of a map to another without spilling or leaking. It had to traverse over mountains and around a lake. They could only use straws, craft sticks, tape, and clay. Finally students explored the world of 3D design using Tinkercad. They familiarized themselves with navigating in 3D by first defining terms like plane, scale, and axis. They had to then show different transformations – translation, reflection, and rotation – using 3D shapes. They had to post a picture of the transformations in Seesaw and attach a caption to explain what it was. Once they completed the transformations, they were able to create their own 3D design.
Next week is Art Week!