Reflection Week 9
EDET677 Mechanical Applications of Technology
Essential Question: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?
This week’s initial post was very productive for me! I learned about distinct/yet related elements that a Make Day consists of from readings.
Since the topic of advertising for a Maker Day came up, I created a piktochart infogram for an event at my school: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/14919991-maker-day-at-lam-school-november-2016 I chose the design background to emphasize the design thinking and challenges that go with this.
I especially enjoyed reading from the dschool.stanford.edu site regarding how a facilitator of an event needs to participate—beginning with Don’t Judge—leaving out value judgments. Advice from http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/understand-mixtape-v8.pdf also explains that although beginning a project with a prototype is beneficial, it should become a springboard for people to create their own ideas.
I was very excited to find a very up-to-date and just in time Maker Education: Reaching All Learners video clip to include in this post. It is an excellent overview of what making, using technology and ways to allow us to see students in action, safely using a variety of equipment.
Through the many resources listed in my reference section of this initial blog post, I can now refer back to ways to get making started and how it can look over time.
Below are responses I made to classmates, and replies I received back:
What an excellent idea to include other schools and the community at large. Even with our villages being separated from each other and the main district office. There is a budget for sports travel, Lego Robotics, and I’ve seen it come together at our school for students in our choir to fly to Dillingham and Nome. I wonder if we could set Maker Days in Bethel at the high school gym? I know it is not cost effective to send every school at once, or even reasonable, but I can visualize two things. One is to have Maker Days within our own school. Another is to bring perhaps bring in grade level groups to Bethel so they can see each other’s ideas and creations. Some adult chaperones (often a teacher and parents) from each community could attend.
Having committees “consider which locations in the school” to use and decorate, and another group planning the activities is a great way to organize the group. I had not thought of the pottery or the wide range of art in the list you made.
I noticed a sign at an Oregon Home Depot advertising for the vendors to come help people transplant a plant of their choice into a pot of their choice.
Also, I was not aware of culture camps supported by Native corporations. Maybe our students could be involved in these in grade level groups/ranges.
Mini maker faires sound like a good way for educators (like myself) who are new to setting up a multi-project event like this. Organizing the event into these 5 areas seems like a it would also lend itself well to delegating jobs to pairs or groups of staff members or community volunteers.
Thank you so much for sharing the Maker Challenges with 19 challenges list! http://www.makerspaceforeducation.com/
I think my favorite challenge, although it is difficult to narrow it down to one, is Musical Marshmallows
After reading your opening paragraph, I believe George Mason”s ideas merge well with Martinez and Stager. It seems that Martinez and Stager have a focus on using modern tools to solve problems; while George Mason is seeing a wide open door for makers in areas like carpentry, plumbing, etc. which for which there is a shortage of in Canada.
Collaborating multiple ages to me seems important because, in my view, we have divided students by certain ages and grade levels to an extreme. Our students do not all mature at the same time and they don’t all learn the same things at the same time either. Usually many older students will volunteer to help younger students on a project they solved in the past (or a similar one). The groupings of grade levels in Sitka seem like natural ranges for starting Maker Spaces. Even these could be mixed up in future groups—especially toward the end of the school year, 1st Graders might move over to the 2nd – 4th Grade group while the 5th Graders move up to the middle school group (it is really awesome that you want to include younger students in your maker group), and 8th up to the high school group – so they can see and participate in what the older group ranges are working on.
Yes, planning for days to have Maker Space events would be different across Alaska! In our community, we don’t use school buses since we have boardwalks. But we would need to plan around times when students are helping out with subsistence food provisions on the weekends.
It is wonderful that you already have experience with a hands-on science day for Science Saturday. This would fold right over into organizing a Maker Day (different, but similar enough).
Week 9 Response
First of all, your Maker Day plan is very insightful and well organized. Reading your post inspired me to rethink what I can do for students at school by referring to my own family as an analogy.
As I read your opening statement, I thought about my own immediate family. First of all, my husband learned at home so many things about “how things work” just by being encouraged to go into the shop and take apart radios, old TVs; as well as, watching his dad work on motors and building his own house. His older brother invited him to come to Alaska to help wire his house, so Dan learned another new skill. He has taught shop class mechanics at Chemawa Indian School in Salem, Oregon, until this class was discontinued (along with art) for a focus on academic skills. This summer he has changed the brakes of our van, changed the hose of our 1998 Oldmobile, since it had overheated. My 29 year old-daughter helped him do this. Dan will not fix major issues without involving either our daughter or soon to be husband. This is what I would term family apprenticeship. Last summer, she and Dan replaced two door frames and door.
I am a seamstress, though I have not used this skill much lately. This week, I will be altering the shoulders and length of my granddaughter’s dress for the wedding on July 31st. My intention is to start teaching her how to sew when we come back home in the winter and next summer.
Dan built an amazing treehouse for our 2 grandkids, plus our 2 new grandkids who come on a 50/50 custody schedule. So far, they have learned how to put stain on the treehouse, name drill bits or screwdrivers properly, and watched a Treehouse Master at work. Our soon to be son-in-law helped as well when he and Dan were not outside wiring the shop, we put concrete in ourselves last summer.
We know that it is our role to pass the baton over to the next generation so that they know how to pull up a water pump, identify the problem (corroded wires) and replace these. Otherwise, they immediately go toward hiring people to do this for them and they cannot afford this. (We have many other demands on our monies, so we cannot either).
So to me, Maker Day is all about taking back our traditional ways of learning how to do things and helping others to learn what we know as we learn from them.
- Just a few thoughts:
- – Your Piktochart is excellent. What a great way to spread the word about Maker Day! You were able to include a lot information. Your design and colors are very positive and inviting.
- – The video you embedded showed a school that is really into Making. It’s inspiring to see teachers, parents, the principal and superintendent all supportive of Making.
- – The concept of a “beginner’s mindset” for Maker Day is interesting especially “don’t judge” and “question everything”. This all makes a lot of sense to me. Planning an event such as a Maker Day can make for a fixed mindset. But taking a step back once it’s up and running to take on a beginner’s mindset may be advantageous.
Thank you! I enjoyed making a Piktochart. It is getting easier for me with practice.
That video inspired me too—as how possible it is and why the kids would love it! I wonder it we could tie this to migrant education funding?
Yes, I think it is easy to forget to observe the overall picture when we get involved in individuals’ projects. It is good to have a balance of both.
It was so nice to hear from you Teresa. Your time is valuable to me—I know you are working very hard in several courses. You’re nearly there!