Makerspace Reflection Example
Although it would be really neat to have some of the more expensive tools that many Maker Spaces have, like 3-D printers and Little Bits Electrical Kits, we settled on creating a space that used simple items found around the house, classroom, and school, including recyclables and throw-a-ways.
Rather than have students just gather up a lot of materials to glue or tape together, we developed task cards that would provide brain push-ups and explore possible projects that interested them. Students chose something that interested them to work on. They were then allowed to draw a picture of what they imagined, build a prototype for their idea, or actually create and make a finished project.
The projects were widely varied: crocheting a hat for a cat; constructing a desk organizer; making a mock-up of a state-of-the-art lunch tray, and an alarm for treasure box. Some students wanted to create and some wanted to investigate. Taking apart old donated cell phones or toys was popular. All choices provided the students with problem solving opportunities.
Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.
a. know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
b. select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
c. develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
d. exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problems.
Students develop and employ strategies for understanding and solving problems in ways that leverage the power of technological methods to develop and test solutions. Students:
a. formulate problem definitions suited for technology assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
b. collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
c. break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
d. understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
Circuit Lesson Plan
Simple Circuits Challenge
By Teacher Librarian Colleen Graves
Simple Circuit: To complete a simple circuit, you must create a loop for the electrons to flow. So you need to get power from your power source to the LED and back to the power source. If you build a successful current, your light will shine! In this lab, you will create your own simple circuits with Makey Makey and once you've mastered that, you'll move on to parallel circuits. Lastly, you'll create your own DIY switch with Makey Makey!
- Introduce the TMI Design process from Invent to Learn - Think Make Improve
- Complete Circuit Challenges
- Create simple circuits with LEDs and Makey Makey
- Create switches with playdoh, paper clips, pennies, and other conductive resources
- Engage students in simple electronics
- Entice students to create with technology rather than just consume it
- Makey Makey for each student or partner groups
- Alligator Clips
- Prepared Telephone wires (tutorial below)
- Popsicle Sticks
- Strawberries or other conductive fruits
- Small conductive items for switches: Copper brads, Paperclips, pennies, etc
1. Clip jack
2. Carefully cut outer casing
3. Don't cut colorful wires
4. Pull off the outer casing
5. Each wire has two usable wires twisted together.
6. Use Wire stripper to expose copper
7. Twist ends
8. Push into Makey Makey
9. Or wrap and twist
Note: You will facilitate this like a Science lab.
Simple Circuit Challenges
Click here to view card with pics for teacher use- Please give students the student challenge cards.