"The endless deluge of nouvelle vague communication apps make sharing, caring and making new friends easier than before. Tools like Twitter and Voxer, Pinterest and Periscope offer more combinations and possibilities than a Rubik’s Cube.
But nothing can quite mimic the dynamics of face-to-face interactions—and chance encounters—that happen at events and conferences. And the education world surely does not lack for such gatherings."
As this year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect upon some of our favorite makerspace things. Upon doing so, Travis Lape and I, have compiled a list of our ‘Top Ten Favorite Makerspace Items of 2015’. In this post, we have provided links to all of the products, as well as a brief description of each. It is our hope, that this versatile and fun list will get you thinking about things you have never thought of before and help your makerspaces to continue to grow and evolve.
It’s an exciting time to be a maker educator. It seems like everywhere I look, there’s inspirational work happening in community fab labs, a school launching a new innovation program, or a library incorporating STEAM into its space. At St. Gabriel’s in Austin, Texas, we entered the fray last fall with STEAM by Design, an approach to constructivist learning that uses classroom space in conjunction with a dedicated fab lab.
"S.T.E.M." stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. At MCM, we want to engage and encourage children to get excited about these important fields of study through hands-on activities.
Designing the Maker Educator Cycle (see below) allowed me to see how the projects I created over the past seven weeks and the readings I have explored, have truly led me deeper down the Maker Movement path. I had an opportunity to more deeply infuse maker projects in my curriculum and explicitly explore making in the classroom in a way that is meaningful and supports students (and teachers) in developing maker mindsets. I think these experiences, particularly designing a unit plan and a maker assessment, reminded me how vital it is to explore how teachers are makers and designers in our daily practice. To really improve and innovate, we have to continually be making (e.g., lessons, assessments, remixes, etc) educational content as well as maker projects (e.g, a robot maze, an LED student response system, etc). I am excited to continue this work as a maker educator and iterate the lesson plans, assessments, and projects I designed to make them even better. If you are an educator using making in your classroom or if you are trying to help an educator start exploring the Maker Movement, I hope the Maker Educator Cycle is helpful and I welcome any feedback on its design.
A little more than a year ago, Hamden Hall science teacher David Bennett had an idea: While his students spend lots of time in the classroom learning the traditional way, he wanted to make that experience a bit more hands-on.
After conferring with others at the school, the school’s MakerSpace was born in a room in the lower floor of the school, one previously used by the physical education department.
“A couple of us were talking about creating a place where we could build things, where we could tinker with and design things,” Bennett said.
As someone who has long been into “tinkering” — and, especially, working with wood — Bennett knew that such projects could easily be fit into the curriculum, combining subjects such as science, math and engineering with fun projects the students would enjoy doing
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