Monday, June 3, 2019

Where have all the blog posts gone? #MakerEd

Where have all the blog posts gone? It's been over a month since my last post and a few people asked if I was alright. Lolz. Someone as verbose as me not writing was really surprising to some people. The main reason I have not been writing this past month is that I have been super crazy busy.

Below you can check out some of the Instagram posts I've been creating of student work and some of my work. It is so much easier to share the great things students are doing in the Makerspace on Instagram than it is on a blog post. Plus, kids love being tagged and seeing their stuff on the feed. It is a more direct connection to them and their work.

Some of the things that have been keeping me busy in the Makerspace were the student projects in the high school, senior capstone projects, and learning new things myself as I build a design class for 6th graders next year.

High school students were taking a History of Math class this semester. It is a class that students can choose to take as a Social Studies or Math credit. A love that idea. Anyway, for an end of the year project, students were creating pyramids. Some students came down to use the Dremel LC40 laser cutter to cut the wood perfectly to assemble their project. However, it turned out to be more difficult than they thought because, not surprisingly, there was a ton of math needed to make sure the base was wide enough so all four points can come together correctly at the top. It was fun watching them break out their math skills as a team to solve the problem. A great couple of weeks for learning in the Makerspace.

In another class, students were designing and building toys based on conversations with first graders. Rocking horses, slime assembly lines, and a mini tank were just some of the things that students were building. The space was active every day they had class and they all came together and helped one another when they needed it. It was awesome watching students teacher one another how to use drills, saws, nail guns and more.

Another amazing thing happened in the Makerspace that has been taking up my time. I've been mentoring a Junior who has fallen in love with wood working. She started the semester having never held a drill and quickly took the lead in her group in the Engineering class she was taken. She was the only Junior in the class and was all by herself for two weeks when the Seniors got out. She came to the Makerspace and just started to tinker. I was out sick for three days and when I came back, she showed me a ring she carved out of a solid block of wood! She has decided to change her Senior capstone project to something woodworking related. We might work together and create a woodworking class in the first semester and then she would take it second semester. Still have some things to work out, but she is super excited to make a large epoxy table and some chairs for a final project. That is why I needed to learn to make my own table. Check it out.

Speaking of student capstone projects (We call them ARP projects. Follow the link for more info on ARP), I spent some time helping students with their project artifacts for their presentations to the community. One student, Madison, was building model rooms to showcase what she learned about Feng Shui and room design and how it impacts a teenager's mind. It was very interesting. Another student explored facial reconstruction. I 3D printed a skull for her to to reconstruct. It was awesome! Another student spent her time exploring what was going on in the brain of people that had near death experiences. She took all of the accounts she read and created a VR experience using and an Oculus Go headset I let her borrow for the semester. It was an amazing bit of work that was almost a little too real.

There is so much more I could write and share about the great things happening in the Knight's Forge Innovation Lab. The space is growing and evolving in amazing ways. It wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of teacher who are dedicated to project based learning and administrators that believe in them. If you want to keep up to date on the different projects that are being created in the space, follow my Instagram.

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