This is Part 3 in my Making a Makerspace series. If this interests you, catch parts one and two. A makerspace is a space for a group of interesting and creative people to make something. Makerspaces differ from traditional constructional spaces in schools such as woodshops, auto mechanics shops, tech labs, etc because making brings three ideas into the classroom: collaboration, communication and personal fabrication. Personal fabrication brings new, ever-cheaper technologies, such as 3D printing and desktop CNC machines, into the classroom for educational use. Collaboration focuses on group and community work, whether in the shop space, your local community … Continue reading Making a Makerspace: What Do We Make Here? Some Capabilities and Tools for Your Educational Makerspace
This is the second in my “Making a Makerspace” series. Catch part 1, Planning the STEAMworks, here.
With my planning done, I turned my attention to “building out” the makerspace. My original plan called for a long woodworking bench against a pair of bay windows with two tool cabinets and four mobile workstations with integrated tool storage. I thought the makerspace would look something like this:
Keep with me after the jump, as I show of my workspace and even provide plans on how to build a Long Bench and Mobile Workstation for your own makerspace.
This fall, I move into a brand-spanking new classroom. As part of this move, I’ve been heavily involved in the planning, organizing and logistics of moving my school’s Math & Science program into our new digs. In the words of a close colleague of mine, what a great problem to have! Long term readers of this blog have probably noticed a distinct drop off in posts over the past year – well, this massive move has been the main focus of my long-term planning and energy, leaving little left over for blogging or new projects.
That’s about to change. This is the first of a series of posts on how I’m transforming an empty 20′ x 20′ room into a Makerspace. I will be posting progress reports throughout the Fall 2013 semester, so keep checking back. This post will focus on planning out the Makerspace, which I’ve named the STEAMworks. Continue reading “Making a Makerspace: Planning the Steamworks”
In my second period this semester, I’m moonlighting as a video producer. I don’t get to do any fancy music videos or full-feature movies, but I do get to make a documentary. We’ve got the backdrop ordered, the lights rigged up and a the interview stool picked out. I even have a low-slung directors chair that I talk to when its empty. I pretend my boss is sitting there. In the woodshop, I made this little rig to support my students. This is just a prototype. I’ll be working on a second rig which will find a permanent home in … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom (and the shop): Time Lapse Photography or Filming Rigs
A few shots of the shutter table project. My students & I created these (there were four completed tables) tables using up-cycled window shutters & salvaged fence posts. Finished with spar urethane. Pocket hole joinery throughout. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Up-Cycled Shutter Coffee Table
The textbook is now digital but students still encounter it as they always have: wisdom to be received, perhaps highlighted, annotated, and memorized, but not created, constructed, or made sense of. Teachers still interact with students as they always have. The platform doesn’t offer them any new insights into the ways their students think about mathematics. As far as I can tell, the iBook doesn’t establish any new link between the student and teacher, or strengthen any old ones. — Dan Meyer, On iBooks 2 and iBooks Author In my classroom, I have very few textbooks. They have their place … Continue reading On Kindles, iPads, SmartBoards, Prometheans and Apps in the Classroom
You’ve been to a science fair, right? Tri-fold boards, volcanoes and blue ribbons. This month, my colleagues and I shepherded the “STEM Fair” into existence. The STEM Fair is a showcase for any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math project our students produced over the course of a month. My school produced forty to fifty blog posts, hundreds of digital pictures, a dozen two minute videos, thirty presentations and about ten individual physical showcases. I have a room filled with Japanese art-chemistry, rocket cars, rockets of various propulsion methods, a small robot, a Lego-Branded robot, paper gliders, a seesaw and more. … Continue reading Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair
This is my favorite project from this month’s STEM Fair. A student of mine decided to build CO2 Rocket cars. I loved building one of these in middle school. I distinctly remember my simple teardrop design coming in last and remarking – well, that’s unfair. I didn’t know I could do THAT! – when I saw the winners thin, stretchy, leggy thing. I looked like a duck next to a greyhound. Last time, my teacher bought a kit. This time, I chose a simple design for this piece – a pine wedge cut from a 2×4, 1/4 inch dowels as … Continue reading STEM Project: The CO2 Rocket Car
I’m knee deep in the STEM Fair. Some examples of work from my two or three classes of students. make it safe & keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: STEM Fair
Spring 2012 is here! I have just a (few) new classes. A quick rundown after the jump: