You know something is truly revolutionary when you have no idea exactly where to place it in this library.
The Maker Movement is relatively new, but will quickly gain traction as educators and parents realize the incredible energy it can bring to the school environment.
Here's an easy way to get started. Have your students create a roller coaster out of nothing but construction paper, tape, glue and string. The objective: have a marble take the GREATEST amount of time to get from the top of the first hill to where the coaster ends.
T.J. Petronzio, a middle school science teacher with 13 years in the classroom, includes instructions, a rubric, and a video showing the results.
Hard to believe you can build something that big out (6' high) of just construction paper.
The hackerspace (also referred to as makerspace, hackspace, or hacklab) concept is simple and as such it can take many forms. Give people tools, space and community and you get a flourishing of new ideas, creation and action-based projects.
Gemsi.org helps hacker spaces take root in the Middle East and beyond.
Hackerspace In A Box
Hackerspace-in-a-box is a classroom experiment exploring the horizons of emerging technologies, science, media, art, emotional/social intelligence, and PLAY through hackerspace facilitated workshops.
This is one of their test runs. It shows what a hackerspace can do for student excitement.
- Vimeo URL
Sylvia is an 11 year old "Maker" with a YouTube web-show that shows kids and adults how making things can be fun, easy and more rewarding than just buying them.
Jennifer Turliuk and Andy Forest outline their recipe for success in this Make Magazine article: dedicated space, real tools, process and interest driven, kids teaching kids, exhibition and community connections.
Here is another maker space aimed at students and adults (big kids?). They encourage education through exploration, providing toys and tools to help students learn first-hand how science and engineering work.
A Night Away From Home
Think maker spaces are just for older kids and tech nerds?
This video was created in one of Einstein's Workshop's stop motion animation classes, by Sophie and Allanna, ages 8 and 9.
- YouTube URL
A good way to see what all the excitement is about is to visit a nearby maker space. This map locates maker spaces in every part of the country, and around the world. Many have special programs for students and/or hacker nights where people are there to show and explain.
Maker Faire is a series of events originally created by Make magazine to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset".
Maker Faires happen around the world and bring together an eclectic group of students, makers, dreamers and do'ers. A great place to make contacts and get inspired (or inspire others).
Funding for a maker or hackerspace is available from a number of sources, even including DARPA.
Check with your local tech and manufacturing companies for resources and/or equipment donations. Get the word out, and you many find local Makers willing to contribute and support your efforts.
This billboard was photographed in the Silicon Valley. Odds are, there are similar resources available in your area.
This is what happens when you take a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer. Howtoons' mission is to provide engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling. A great STEM resource.
Related Topics ...
Other Areas To Check Out...
• Equity Thru Community Technology Centers And Other Models
• Family and Community Resources for Special Education Students
• Getting Started And Happy Endings
• High Performance Standards for Applied Learning
• Major US and North American Federal Organizations: Environment
• NASA Resources
• Off Planet Field Trips
• Remote-Sensing Investigations
• Research Resources for Teachers and Librarians
• Students Prepare for Publishing in 'Zines and Newspapers