Make Something!

I’ve always been interested to see how far students could take their imagination if they were given the resources to do so. As we move towards our L21 goals, I’ve been reading up on Maker Space and the different Maker environments to see what there is out in the world, here in China, and right here at ISB.
IMG_0004Michael Gorman talks about some of the reasons that our students should be “making” something in our classrooms. As we move towards a Project Based Environment in our schools, some of these “maker” skills can be applied to these projects as well as incorporate STEM skills.  Maker students can envision, plan, play, innovate, collaborate their projects in the most creative ways. Given the space and resources to do so, we can see students learning with their experiments in their original and creative ways to make their ideas into a reality.

Some points that Michael makes about positive outcomes of Maker students include:

  • Provide for student opportunities to enhance Project, Problem, Design, Inquiry, and Challenge Based Learning
  • Introduce students to the iterative process for problem solving
  • Promote service student learning by identify and inventing solutions to local and world problems
  • Introduce students to the iterative process for problem solving

For the past couple summers, there have been Maker Faires in Shenzhen, China’s “Silicon Valley”. This exposed many local and international groups especially in education to include some sort of Maker opportunities and emphasis in their schools.  Randy Stadham has gone to the last two Maker Faires and has been leading the Grade 4 in making robots for competition.
In Middle School, Randy Williams and Steve Sostak have their own “Baby Maker Space” up in rooms 3122 and 3123  and have been creating all sorts of projects in their lab . Students learn a skill and then create in Open Make.
I was also part of a group of students that presented some of their Maker projects as part of the Middle School Global Issues Network(GIN) Conference in Singapore this past May. Students were able to tie their ideas into a sustainable COMPASS education model.
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My curiosity has led to see  that we are part of a growing, great, creative, collaborative, and awesome Maker Movement here at ISB.
Further readings and ideas for activities:
Post by: Pim Arora

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