Monday, September 14, 2015

Maker Challenges

   I am developing a Maker Space in the Library this year.  I will also be co-leading a Maker Club with another teacher that will be held on alternating Fridays.  My administration has encouraged me to seek out ways to tie Maker activities to the curriculum.

   To build up interest in the Maker Space, I held a Maker Challenge last Friday in the Library during both of our lunch periods.  Since the toys for the new Star Wars Movie came out on that day, I selected  a Star Wars related challenge.  Participants were to pick a Star Wars character or ship to construct. For the challenge, I borrowed my children's Lego bricks and printed off several images of Star Wars ships and characters.

   The session was a hit!  About fifteen students in each lunch attend as well as two teachers.  The teachers and students created Darth Vader as well as a Tie Fighter, an AT-ST Walker, an Imperial Star Destroyer, two AT-AT Walkers, and a Speeder bike.

     I handed out prizes for the best ship in each lunch as well as best character created.  Into the next week, several teachers and students have stopped by the library inquiring about when the next Maker Challenge will be held.

     Another part of the success of the first Challenge was that our broadcast teacher used it as an opportunity to train one of his students in video production.  The student attended the second session of the Maker Challenge, and turned his footage into a video about the Maker Challenge.  This video gave the library Maker Space some great publicity and appeared on the all school broadcast announcements the following week.

       I look forward to holding another Maker Challenge next month.  Some buzz has been created about the Makerspace, the challenge now is to build on that and connect it with some curricular projects!

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