Source: Williams, Terry Tempest. 2016. The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. New York: Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
This was our next-to-last meeting before the holiday break, and we were busy!
For more photos from this week, check out our Flickr album.
Next week is our last of the semester. We’ll have special gift-making and gift-wrapping stations!
We saw great maker mindset in person when the laptops could barely hold on a charge — they had gotten a workout during the day — and the students went with the flow and flexibly swapped out laptops to make things work. That’s the kind of approach to life we like to see!
The popular stations this week were definitely toy take apart (with Ben this time as your mentor) and the Roominate kit.
Check out our makers in action!
M realizes that he can connect a motor from the Roominate box to some fluff left over from last week’s take apart. Not only does the motor attach itself into the fluff, it can actually twist it into yarn. Check out the video below!
Here are some things we are learning:
- It’s a new thing to use a screwdriver!
- “Lefty loosey, righty tighty.”
- Press down with the screwdriver while you turn it.
- The inside of toys can be a big surprise!
For more photos from this week, check out this week’s Flickr album.
After not having enough for everyone to do this week, we loaded up our van! We introduced toy takeapart, brought back some building tools like Tinkertoys and LEGO, and did some more Code.org. Check out our photos here and in this week’s Flickr album.
We worked in partners this week not only with Code.org but with toy takeapart as well. We had two groups of technicians, one taking apart this toy guitar, and the other taking apart a mechanical bear.
YAY! We are back at Mitchell School for five week this fall! We planned to introduce kids to Code.org and make buttons for name tags. But OOPS! We didn’t realize that the laptop cart was locked up and forgot to bring a Plan B. So we sent Kamya back to campus to get some engineering toys, and Kristin had some yarn in her car we used to teach braiding. We like how Mitchell makers go with the flow when things get weird and steer clear of whining. We don’t like to be unprepared, so your good attitude made a big difference!
Here are some photos of the day:
Whew! We were relieved when Kamya brought us some other things to tinker with!
Ben says, “Activate!” whenever they push the button on the Badge-O-Matic II. It is funny every time. We observed how closely the makers watched the people ahead of them so they would know how to set up their button with little prompting from us. Nice strategy, makers! Success! Check out additional photos in this Flickr album. Kristin
Hello, everyone! If you’re a third grader who likes to take stuff and turn it into something else, you just might be a maker. See Mr. Hilton at Mitchell for a permission slip. Space is limited, and we cannot wait to see you in two weeks!
Kristin, Kamya, and Ben
A big part of being a Maker is creating new things out of things you already have around you. After chatting with our middle school’s librarian, I learned that she had book shelves filled with old magazines, available for anyone in the school to take. It got me thinking about how we could repurpose old magazines and turn them into something new….
After poking around the internet for ideas, I came across this inspiration for magazine strip art: http://suzyssitcom.com/2012/06/feature-friday-cut-paper-art.html We had stacks and stacks of colorful magazines at our disposal, and this artsy activity looked like something the students could get excited about.
The prep work didn’t take very long; After 30 minutes of tearing out magazine pages and slicing them up in a paper cutter (the kind that has a blade on a guillotine-like lever), we mentors had a box full of magazine strips ready for the students to create with!
We let the students pick out the designs that they wanted to appear in their piece. It’s exciting to see the students get revved up about taking ownership of their work! We, the Mentors, might have given them some advice on selecting images, but it was they who pulled together designs and put their own spin on how they wanted the magazine strips to look.
Some students looked at the sample we put out and instantly went, “Nope. I’m gonna do it a different way” and confidently went in their own direction. And that’s okay! We want to see students think outside the box and experiment. There are so many ways to make this activity your own, and I’m glad to see students fearlessly creating something they hadn’t made before!
For a variation on this activity, check out this link: http://www.pinkstripeysocks.com/2014/02/diy-magazine-strip-silhouette-heart-art.html
We’ve got more pics form this activity! Find them in our Flickr album HERE.
Have you ever walked into a souvenir shop and seen drinking glasses with frosty designs on its surface? As it turns out, you can make these yourself! With the help of a Cameo machine, some Contact Paper, and some etching paint, we were well on our way to creating our own uniquely designed glassware.
Because our students could put almost any design on their glass, the number of options was daunting. At the beginning, we heard a lot of “What should I put on mine?” . To get them started, we suggested ideas like their favorite video games, game characters, places to visit, their names, and famous logos. When selecting their designs, we recommended that they pick simple images with clean lines and few details since these tend to show up best on glass. A great place to look for images is The Noun Project.
Once they picked their designs, we loaded the designs into Cameo’s design software and etched the designs onto vinyl (think Contact Paper). The students then peeled and placed their vinyl designs onto their glasses, removing sections of vinyl and exposing glass that they wanted an etched (frosty) design to appear.
After slathering a coat of glass-etching paint onto their glasses, washing the paint off, and slowly removing the remaining vinyl off their glass, their etched design was finally revealed! They were excited to see something go from concept to final product and take it home. Our glass artists did a great job of asking for advice on implementing designs and helping each other along the way.
For instructions on how to etch your own glass, Mayank (a fellow Makers Mentor) has blogged them HERE.
This week at Michigan Makers saw the junk box and 3D printer still going strong! We also brought back many of the same things from the past few weeks, including littleBits, Hour of Code, Lego, and Kinex. We also brought back the Dash robots as well as the tiny Ozobot, which follows the path you draw for it and changes the color of its lights accordingly.
We discovered through experimentation that drawing a path for the Ozobot takes some serious pigmentation, and also that it works best when the turns are gently curved instead of right angles.
The junk box was as popular as ever, especially for making miniatures like the tiny table for Shopkins above, and an equally tiny teacup.
Hour of Code has remained a hit with a lot of the kids, some of whom have spent the majority of the last two weeks on the Blockly-based coding activities. One student told me he can’t wait to keep practicing at home and show his mom what he has been up to!
Last but certainly not least, we have been making progress ensuring that every student who wants to print something using the 3D printer has their chance. We have been consistently impressed with how careful the students are around the printer!
One more week to go, Makers!