Over the last two years, I’ve been working to engage educators around our area in conversations around this exact topic through a Creative Challenges Cohort at Grant Wood AEA. As part of #MakerMarch, I thought it would be great to open up this conversation to everyone in a blog series that will run this month. First, we are going to tackle the topic of Making.
Today, we are going to peak into the conversation with three of our Year 2 Cohort Members. Let’s see what they have to say about Making….
Messy and merry - this is how it might look if you come in the high school library during a making session. The laughs might come from the students trying to match the picture or instructions I found online and seeing what we actually come up with. We may not always get it exactly like the picture, but we have fun trying. I have found that following instructions isn’t always easy for everyone but we sometimes get even better results when we go out on our own to see what we can do.
And there is always a mess on the table, floors, and sometimes even following the students out the door. I am sure the janitors secretly curse me on days we turn the library into a mess but it is truly one of the best 30-40 minutes of my day when we have time for it.
Bridget Speer (@sewfun82)
Have you ever looked at the back of a cross stitch pattern? The front is a beautiful design, but when you look at the back you see all the links between stitches, knots, leftover strings. When I think about cross stitch, I think about all the work that went into creating the design and hiding all the imperfections. I believe the Maker Movement is a way to allow students to explore and design so that one day their products will be a beautiful design.
Making is messy, but that doesn’t mean that it is disorganized. I tried to make a cross stitched pillow with a pattern I found on clearance. I quickly realized that I needed to be organized in order to complete this project, as well as needing some practice. I needed to organize the threads so that I would be able to match the colors to the intricate design.
Making is a way to help foster problem solving. Each of us brings past experiences to the projects we build. When we allow students the chance to have experiences building with cardboard, creating green screen and stop motion videos, and exploring the wonder of 3D printers, we are helping them gain experiences that can help them in the future. As Mr. Rogers said “Children’s play is not just kids’ stuff. Children’s play is rather the stuff of most future inventions.” (https://twentytwowords.com/incredibly-inspiring-mr-rogers-quotes-that-will-brighten-your-day/)
I believe that making is an important part of the school day. We need to allow students to try new things; to provide a safe place to try hard things, fail, and try again. I went to my students to help me write a description of our school’s makerspace
- STEAM lab is experiments within boundaries.
- A creative place to express your imagination.
- Free to say any ideas without anyone criticizing you.
- A place where you can express your true self.
Gina Miller (@GinaBeckMiller)
Making to me is taking your thoughts; dreams, fantasy, play, creativity, desires, inventions, dramatics, art, engineering, problem solving, and combining them into mental ideas that are then able to be transferred into a plan that is written, drawn & labeled. That plan can then be evolved into a creation to express those thoughts, revising as necessary/desired.
To be able to complete that cycle is a life skill that will take students into their futures. Many studies have been completed asking major employers about the skills necessary for new employees, more so than their education at times it their ability to function in society working together with others, accepting others and creative problem solving. So making is not only extremely FUN! It is also preparing this new generation for employable skills necessary as adults.
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Add a comment below to join in on the conversation and make sure that you are following along with #MakerMarch all month long.
And remember #HaveFunMaking!
~Amber Bridge, Digital Learning Consultant