Home #Makerspace: Natural Material Sculptures & Glue Gun Safety

Rachelle Dooley of TinkerLab is one of my go-to arts blogs and one of my favorite small-person maker-educators.  She has a fantastic book, Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors, and blog, TinkerLab.  She recently posted a skill building tutorial for glue guns in small hands.  Check it out here.

My boys and I took her idea and moved it over into the “Dad” realm.  We used natural materials, stone, sticks, bark, and some scraps from a recent rocking chair repair to create some “rock gardens”.

According to my sons, dragons eat the rocks that grow in rock gardens.  And if dragons derive energy from rocks breaking apart, that means they have somehow created controlled nuclear reactors in their stomachs.  Which is the start of a Hollywood Sci-Fi movie script, and if it’s not, it should be.

After the jump, check out a few tips and safety pointers for glue guns at different developmental levels.

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Home #Makerspace: Two Tools to Teach #CompSci & #Coding to #MakerEd Youngsters

The last five years have seen an explosion in Maker Edu-themed products geared for the younger set.  Young kids make enthusiastic makers.  They love challenging puzzles, approachable crafts and as long as you put flames on it, they think everything you do is amazing!  What’s not to love about teaching the pre-K through 3rd grade set?

Little makers also need encouragement, support and developmentally-appropriate materials to be successful.  Many of us think Makers means 3D printers, microcontrollers and fancy toys.  Young makers will feel left out (though amazed) at all those cool gizmos and flashy parts because the concepts, skills and tools are all too complex.  Instead, we can broaden our definition of making (to include art, crafts, woodworking, cooking and more) while developing technology tools that teach at their level.  Technology tools can empower our children through exploration and discovery. 

Robot Turtles and the BeeBot/BlueBot are two MakerEd platforms you can use to promote foundational computer science concepts and coding skills to the very young learners. 

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#MakerED Book Review: 3D CAD with Autodesk 123D #makerspace

Update: On Dec. 16th, Autodesk announced they would be shutting down the 123D App family in “early 2017”.  Most apps will become incorporated into their 3 powerhouse apps: Tinkercad, Fusion 360, and ReMake. As I detailed in my most recent … Continue reading #MakerED Book Review: 3D CAD with Autodesk 123D #makerspace

The Home Makerspace: The Museum Display (Dioramas To Win the Science Fair)

Here’s a cool project that takes an old standby, the diorama, and adds a little Maker flair to it.  The diorama incorporates a MakeyMakey, laptop and Scratch programming environments to turn a stand alone display into something interactive and easily modified.  I developed this project for my school’s eSTEAM Fair (environmental, science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics).  It was a huge hit with parents and kids alike.

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This summer I repeated the project with pretty cool results with my two sons.  Let me take you along for the ride!

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This Week in the Classroom: DIY Wood Covered Lab Notebooks

This fall, I opened the classroom with a very simple (sort-of) multi-media project for my students.  Last year, I piloted a number of different end-of-project reflection formats (long form, short form, written and typed) as well as online and offline versions.  I lacked a reasonable and effective in-process journaling format.  This year, I wanted to combine the paper lab report/maker journaling process with the final reflections.  So my students and I made custom lab notebooks. These notebooks are made with the following materials:   Materials: 1/4” Plywood Letter-sized paper with a combination of reflections, graph paper, etc. 2” wide strips … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: DIY Wood Covered Lab Notebooks

This Week in the Classroom: 3D Printed Pinhole Camera

Last spring, I had the opportunity to teach one of my dream units:  Light and Waves.  We completed three projects during this time: camera obsuras, cajon drums and a pinhole camera. This 3D-printed pinhole camera combines three centuries worth of … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: 3D Printed Pinhole Camera

This Week in the Classroom: Cajón Drums

Cajón drums are wood drums native to South America with deeper roots in the Africa.  The cajon is a wood rectangular prism, with two thin faces.  One of the thin sides, usually the back, has a large hole to allow sound to travel out.  The front face can be struck with the hand, mallets or brushes to create different sounds. Construction couldn’t be simpler.  Cut out four sides of a box using whatever means you have from a sheet of plywood.  I use a table saw now, but my students and I have used jig saws with guides, circular saws … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Cajón Drums

Click to Watch a Free Webinar on Project Based Learning, Makerspaces and Maker Ed

Are you interested in Maker Ed, PBL and Makerspaces?  Check out my FREE webinar on PBL and Making and continue the conversation.  I discuss how to move from standards to projects to completed curriculum units.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/111853425″>Project-Based Learning through a Maker&rsquo;s Lens</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/nisce”>NISCE</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

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Interested in Project Based Learning, Makerspaces and Maker Ed? Free Webinar on Nov. 12th

Continue the conversation with me, Mr. Patrick, on Nov. 12th.   I will be delivering a free live webinar based on my Edutopia article, PBL through a Maker’s Lens.  I’ll discuss the various ways we can integrate standards, choose appropriate projects, build student engagement and choice and generally have a great time.  You can sign up here. This webinar is hosted by the National Institute for Student-Centered Education.  The NISCE’s mission statement: Our mission is to help schools realize the goal of being communities that both inspire and support students to be passionate about their learning while preparing them to … Continue reading Interested in Project Based Learning, Makerspaces and Maker Ed? Free Webinar on Nov. 12th

This Week In the Classroom: How to Build Electromagnets!

Hans Christan Orsted’s discovery that electricity generates a magnetic field led to the development of electromagnets.  Electromagnets are bundles of wires wrapped around a ferrous core.  When electricity flows through the core, the iron magnetizes.  When the electric flow ceases, … Continue reading This Week In the Classroom: How to Build Electromagnets!