Thursday, February 27, 2014

#MakerEd at #NAISac14!

Yesterday, I delivered a workshop with Vinnie Vrotny, Jaymes Dec, and Andrew Carle on Maker Education to over 40 people at the National Association of Independent Schools conference!  It was AWESOME!

Found the room Tues evening!

Everyone really started pouring in at about 12:50, and Vinnie launched at 1pm with introductions to the team, and introduction to the importance of kids persevering through tough hands-on projects, designing and creating for themselves, and experience the art and science of engineering even with the simplest materials... A very brief intro, and then we showed our stations!
- Paper Speakers
- Sewn Circuits
- MakeyMakey
- Copper tape circuits
- Lego WeDo Rube Goldberg devices

(Have you ever used Fotor to make collages? So fun...)

Our participants spread out and dove into their projects by 1:20.  Most participants spent a solid 20 to 30 minutes at each station, creating their speakers, wonderful unique MakeyMakey controllers, cute sewn LED circuit accessories, copper tape circuits, and intricate Rube Goldberg devices.  A few people stayed intensely focused on one session for the full 2+ hours, like a few on the Rube Goldberg team!

Here is the brief intro guide I made for the Sewn Circuits table:

Find my materials/sources list for Sewn Circuits activities here!

Paper Speakers:

(I want to a see the video of this teeny speaker in action!)

Sewn Circuits - hard at work!


Sewn Circuits - a couple finished products!

Copper tape circuits:

MakeyMakey Projects!

A demo Drum Shirt made by one of my 6th gr girls

Four-player Pac Man

 Participant-created controllers, including my new fave kit element: gloves!

Rube Goldberg device:

Ball rolls down ramp, triggers WeDo motion sensor, WeDo lifts lever, knocks over dominoes, 
domino falls onto lever on floor, launches astronaut lego people!


As a presenter, I had a FANTASTIC time supporting teachers in exploring these different tools, creating their own unique items, and growing their perseverance, prototyping, and grit!  In our wrap-up, Vinnie shared a ton of resources that we'll make available here, and participants shared their learning.  Wonderful share-outs included anecdotes of developing their own confidence in this type of building, discussions of pedagogy of supporting such open-ended exploration, and ideas for getting started back at participants' own home schools!

My own new learning:
One participant shared a great new acronym that I'm hoping to bring home with me... Instead of "STEAM" (which is too science/tech focused), their school uses "IDEA" - Innovation, Design, Engineering, and Art! I like that focus on design, as well as rolling "technology, science and math" of STEAM (and "robotics" if you're "STREAM") all into "Engineering," since that's really what it's all about!

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