Category Archive: Education

Home #Makerspace: Build a Pinewood Derby Car With #YoungMakers

Every winter, millions of families prepare for serious bonding time at kitchen tables, in garages and in workshops across the country. We enter with dreams of speed, beauty and glory. With a little luck and skill, we leave with pride, joy and a completed Pinewood Derby Car.

This guide will show you how to support and help your young maker design, make and race their derby car.

#Makered Book Review: Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley @TinkerLabKids

TinkerLab: A Hands on Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley is a beautifully photographed and curated set of experiments for the toddler to 2nd grade set. While her main focus is art prompts and experiments, she has sections on construction, Maker explorations, take apart sessions, chemistry, and more. Rachelle’s book has given me tons of inspiration and insight into the playful mind of very young children. She walks through the process for setting up an art space, with tool & material recommendations. She also spends a lot of time and space discussing the teaching philosophy behind arts education and why its important. Her habits of mind and interviews with experts are fantastic distillations of the Maker ethos.

This Week in the Shop: The Split-Top Bench with Plans

This week in my home shop I finished up a new bench project I developed for class at Nova Labs in Reston, VA. While simple in design and execution, it does involve a full suite of woodworking tools and a a custom jig to complete. This great intermediate project uses the Fab Five of a powered woodshop: table saw, band saw, miter saw, jointer and planer.

The Home #Makerspace: How To Build Your Own Pinball Machine (with Working Launcher & Flipper)

Sometimes, a teacher needs to court a little controversy.  This week, Things 1 & 2 & I build a device which was banned in New York City from the 1940s until 1976, and… Continue reading

Home #Makerspace: How to Saw (for Young and Beginning #Woodworkers)

I use Japanese-style saws exclusively in my classroom and home shop because I have young makers.  I love the quick bite and accuracy of a pull stroke, the low cost and high quality,… Continue reading

#Makerspace Tour: MILL Studio at Gum Springs Library

Loudoun County Public Library system was recently rated one of the top libraries in America.  It boasts a lot of services and a great collection. I like its makerspace, the Mill Studio at… Continue reading

Home #Makerspace: A Young #Maker ‘s First Saw Kit

3 Saws and a Miter Box. A beginning woodworker needs enough equipment to make only two types of cuts; the cross cut and curve.   For cross cuts, I suggest a Japanese-style “pistol grip” carpenter’s… Continue reading

Home #Makerspace: The Bench Hook is a Secret Weapon for #Woodworkers

Bench hooks are portable work surfaces used to make basic woodworking tasks, such as crosscutting boards and drilling holes, easier to perform.  As a bonus, they help protect the surface of your woodworking… Continue reading

Home #Makerspace: Halloween Pumpkin String Lights #3DPrinting #makered Project

Here’s a great “getting started” 3D printing project for young #MakerEd students. It combines rudimentary circuit knowledge, gross motor skills and safe tool use. It costs about $5 to make (excluding the cost of a 3D printer) and can be modified to fit any holiday, not just Halloween.

Home #Makerspace: Simple Kid’s Game Boards for Young Makers #Woodworking

This week, we made a quick foldable checkerboard inspired by my youngest child’s love of the game. This basic folding design can expanded and modified to play any board game. Just let your imagination run wild!

This project incorporates measuring, marking boards square, using a hand drill and hand saw, and an all natural, no-fuss stain (although it is stinky!). Super quick, super cheap and super easy for young makers between K – 3rd grade.

  • Have a Question? Want to Talk Shop?

    You can get in touch with Mr. Patrick at woodshopcowboy AT gmail DOT com.