Today my group, The Master Makers, went to Barrow Elementary. When we first arrived, there were no students for Maker Spaces so we sorted legos based on color. After about 15 minutes, groups of students started showing up about every 15-20 minutes. The stations we had available were makey makey, duct tape, and legos. Since I’ve never really seen how makey makey worked, I began working at that station with some kids. Sadly, the wifi was out so we had to limit the stations to duct tape and Legos. For the first group, I helped a student build a duct tape wallet (below) and she was so proud of it! She’s never played with duct tape, and she was really excited to be able to build something for her first time. I like how the students and their creativity are the ones in charge during Maker Spaces, and we serve more as a mentor or an observer.
The next couple groups came in and I helped assist them with Legos. When I asked, “What are you going to create,” the students’ imaginations were huge! As you can see from the images below, the ideas ranged from a mosaic portrait, to a king’s throne, to an elaborate birdhouse. Each student had such a vivid picture in their head of what to create, and they actually made something and became so proud of it. When some of the pieces didn’t fit or fell off, they fixed and tweaked it themselves to better their structures. Each student loved to tell me every detail about their creation and used terms such as “maker” and “inventor.” It was interesting to me to see early childhood students being so engaged in Maker Spaces, engineering, and tweaking in order to build. They were a little bummed when they couldn’t takes their Lego creations home.
I think every elementary school should have a Maker Space in their media center so students can get a break from classes. Today they actually had a benchmark test and shared that Maker Spaces got their minds off of it. One student asked me what a Maker Spaces is and I shared some of the activities we do and he was so excited that he signed up. Sparking creativity in the classroom is a great way to encourage students to try as many times as they need, and maybe even fail, in order to build and learn something new. I’m excited to learn myself about all of the other activities we’ll do in Maker Spaces this year.