Today my group went over to Barrow for Makerspaces. We planned on doing Spheros and Green Screen, and I was very excited about this because I did Sphero programming at the beginning of the semester for our project. Unfortunately, the Spheros weren’t connecting to Bluetooth and wouldn’t even turn on, so we had to change it up. The kids were very excited to use them, so hopefully next time they will work a little better. We had to improvise some, and decided to just have them play Blokify on the iPads. This alternative was a great way to still use technology and engineering in the media center. The students loved to tell me about their building plans they had in mind and all of the creative ideas about them.
The next activity we had setup was green screen. I’ve been wanted to do this because I haven’t had any practice of it before. People from my group helped me understand all of the components to working it on the iPad, and it was a lot easier than I expected. The students also loved to tell me each step if they already had experience with green screen. It was interesting to me that you can insert any picture into the app and it serves as the background for a photo or video. I imagined the app just having template images that had to be used for the background. Some of the students had the most unique, creative ideas for background images! A few centered their ideas on famous celebrities or movies they enjoyed, and some tied in history pictures of World War II into the app.
I love to see the joy in their eyes once they made something on their own or watched themselves inserted into the picture they created. Each student’s personality comes out during Makerspaces, especially using green screen today. I always see the students using the engineering design process. They first ask about something they’re making, imagine, plan, create, and then improve all on their own. It’s great to see kids as young as first grade using this process naturally, guided by their own curiosity. I’m learning more about STEM within classrooms in my other classes, so I enjoyed observing students act out this process and having some knowledge about it ahead of time. As you can see below, the students loved to explore and play with both of these Makerspace activities.