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

Demco Post: 5 Makerspace Projects for Teen Tech Week

5 Makerspace Projects for Teen Tech Week | In my post for Demco Ideas, I go over five different makerspace project ideas for ALA's Teen Tech Week, with the 2017 theme of Be the Source of Change

ALA’s Teen Tech Week will be upon us before we know it (March 5-11).  To help get ready for this event, I’ve written a post for Demco Ideas with 5 makerspace project ideas to tie in with this year’s theme, “Be the Source of Change”.  It was hard to limit it to just five ideas, … Read more

Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects

Read this Book: The Big Book of Makerspace Projects | Colleen and Aaron's new book is a fantastic resource for teacher, students, parents or anyone else interested in learning some new skills through some fun, hands-on maker projects.

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects is definitely the next book you should add to both your school and personal library.  Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves offer up 51 awesome makerspace projects in this book that are fun and doable no matter what level you’re at. Why The Big Book of Makerspace Projects should be … Read more

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

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

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