How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop

How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop : A recycled book art workshop is a fun, budget friendly project for any makerspace.

Many educators falsely believe that you can’t start a makerspace without a huge budget.  But some of the best makerspace supplies are free! As part of our new Maker Mondays program, I recently tried out a new activity with my students that went off great.  I only spent around $50 on supplies, most of which … Read more

SLJ Post: A Student-Designed Maker Cart

A Student Designed Maker Cart | In an article I wrote for School Library Journal, I describe a powerful collaboration that became the Furniture Challenge, where my students designed a cart for makerspaces, which was later manufactured by CEF>

Note: This post is a brief summary/intro of an article I wrote that appeared in the Septemeber 2017 School Library Journal.  To read the full article, click here. The Furniture Challenge Towards the end of the 2017 school year, I introduced a design challenge to my afterschool Maker’s Club that was one of our best ones … Read more

Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17

Make Your Own Creature Workshop #AASL17 | I led a Make Your Own Creature workshop at AASL and it was a blast. Here's how to host one.

(Note: Post contains affiliate links.  Actions taken may result in commissions for Renovated Learning) A Creature Workshop Towards the end of last school year, one of my students came up with one of my favorite design challenges:  Make a creature that does something.  That’s it.  This prompt wins for simplicity and the designs that people come up … Read more

Demco Post: 3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace

3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace : Check out my Demco post to read up on three different design challenges you can do with your students in a low-tech/no-tech makerspace. All are budget friendly and easy to do.

Check out my post on Demco to learn more about design challenges in low tech makerspaces! Many educators have the misconception that makerspace activities always need to involve expensive technology like 3-D printers and circuit kits. But this isn’t true. Students can have amazing learning experiences in makerspaces with low-tech and no-tech tools. Design challenges … Read more

The Creature Challenge: Make a Creature that Does Something

The Creature Challenge: Make a Creature That Does Something: Student created design challenges can be powerful motivators for students. In this student challenge, the Stewart Makers Club used different materials to build creatures that did something.

Design challenges are powerful ways to engage students in making (that’s why I co-wrote a book about them).  Sometimes, I craft the design challenges myself.  But other times, I go to my students and ask them to create their own design challenges.  This one was one of those, and I think it was brilliant: The … Read more

How to Run a Rubber Band Launcher Challenge

How to run a RUBBER BAND LAUNCHER CHALLENGE: Includes suggested supplies, skills that help, ground rules to set and recommended resources for running a Rubber Band Launcher Challenge in your makerspace.

If you’ve been following Renovated Learning for awhile, you might remember the Catapult Challenge my Stewart Makers Club did last year with Colleen Graves’ students at Lamar Middle School.  My students had SO MUCH FUN with that challenge, although I always felt like Catapult Challenge was a bit of a misnomer, since our students’ creations … Read more

The 2015 Cardboard Challenge

The 2015 Cardboard Challenge | Every year, we participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge in our makerspace as a part of our afterschool Makers Club. Here, I talk about some of our projects as well as some best practices I've come up with. | RenovatedLearning.com

Yes, I realize that the official Global Cardboard Challenge happened back in October, but cardboard is timeless 🙂  I did actually hold the Cardboard Challenge in our makerspace with my students in October, but between FAME and AASL, I hadn’t gotten around to blogging about it.  So here you go. About the Cardboard Challenge If … Read more