Cardboard Challenge 2016: More Awesome Than Ever

Cardboard Challenge 2016: More Awesome than Ever | For our 2016 Cardboard Challenge, my students went all out. Our cardboard cutters were buzzing, the hot glue guns were all in use. There were all sorts of amazing creations being built all around.

Our 2016 Cardboard Challenge We’ve been doing the Cardboard Challenge at Stewart every year since we first started our makerspace in 2014.  See our 2014 challenge here and our 2015 challenge here.  Our challenge is inspired by the YouTube video, Caine’s Arcade and the Global Cardboard Challenge.  Every year we start the challenge by watching … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Organization that Actually Works

Figuring out how to get (and keep) your makerspace organized can be a daunting task.  I don’t claim to have a magical organization system that works perfectly 100% of the time.  But I have learned a few things about keeping our space organized over the last three years.  Here’s my advice: How to Create Makerspace … Read more

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces

4 Reasons Why I Love Copernicus Carts in Makerspaces | Finding the perfect makerspace storage solution can be tricky. I now have three Copernicus carts and they've revolution storage and accessibility in our makerspace.

Why I love Copernicus Carts In setting up a makerspace in my media center, I’m constantly on the lookout for effective, flexible storage solutions for the myriad of supplies we have.  I think I’ve found one of the best ones out there in Copernicus.   I started with one Book Browser Cart (similar to this one) … Read more

Read this Book: STEAM Makers by Jacie Maslyk

Read this Book: STEAM Makers | My review of Jacie Maslyk's fantastic book. It's an excellent resource for anyone at the elementary level (or any level really) who's interested in starting a makerspace. Jacie comes at this from the perspective of an adminstrator, making this a great resource for those trying to convince hesitant admin about makerspaces.

STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity & Innovation in the Elementary Classroom At least once a week, I get a tweet or e-mail asking about resources for starting a makerspace in an elementary school, incorporating maker activities into elementary classrooms, or convincing hesitant administrators as to why makerspaces are incredible and can help teach curriculum.  I worked … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work: AASL Knowledge Quest post | Finding the best way to get your students to learn procedures can be tricky. Check out these tips on how to create makerspace procedures that will work.

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work When we set up our libraries and classrooms, we create procedures to help keep things running smoothly. In the same way, we need to create makerspace procedures that help our students understand how to utilize and participate in our spaces. It can be tricky to figure out the … Read more

3 Reasons Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces

3 Reasons Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces | Perler beads are by far one of the most popular items in my makerspace. In this post, I explain why they are an awesome addition to any makerspace, and offer some advice on incorporating them into your space.

Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces Perler Beads were one of the earliest elements of my makerspace.  I originally added them as a pop-up station during Teen Tech Week in 2014.  They ended up being such a surprise hit that they became a permanent part of our makerspace.  They’re one of my students favorite … Read more

AASL Post: How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace

How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace | AASL Knowledge Quest, @DianaLRendina | Despite what it may seem like from Instagram feeds and blog posts, makerspaces are not always rainbows and sunshine. Stuff goes wrong. Things get broken. Students aren't always engaged. Here's some advice on how to deal when things go wrong in your space.

How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace: An AASL Knowledge Quest Post In my recent AASL Knowledge Quest post, I get into the messier and less pleasant aspects of running a makerspace.  The fact is that things go wrong in makerspaces, and it helps to be equipped with how to deal with … Read more

Maker Projects: The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave

Maker Projects- The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave | Maker Projects posts feature projects my students have put together. This post details the cardboard Maker Cave that came together over the course of several weeks. The cave was an installation at our schoolwide Maker Fair.

The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave Last spring, I gave my after-school Makers Club a challenge – create a unique, interactive project that guests can interact with at our 2016 Maker Fair.  We had held the Cardboard Challenge earlier in the school year, giving my students lots of ideas on how to use cardboard as a medium. … Read more

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop | I ran a Circuit Bracelet workshop with our STEMgirls club this year and we had tons of fun. I also learned a lot of lessons along the way and wanted to share here so that YOU can run a super circuit bracelet workshop in your makerspace.

The Story of the STEMgirls Club My school is a STEM magnet school and unfortunately, that leads to a disproportionate number of male students.  This year the ratio was 65% male, 35% female, which led to many of my female students feeling disenfranchised.  I wanted to do something to help create a safe environment for … Read more

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair: Featuring the Awesome MakerCave & More

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair | Our 3rd Annual MakerFair was an awesome, amazing event. Learn all about our Maker Stations, Make and Take activities, and our awesome student projects, including the K'nex Crossbow, Maker Cave. K'nex roller coaster and Sphero vs. Dash obstacle course.

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair Every year since we started our makerspace in January 2014, we’ve held a Maker Fair during the last conference night of the year (See our 2014 MakerFair and our 2015 MakerFair).  This year’s was even bigger and more awesome.  We had more interactive student projects and I had more student volunteers … Read more