Maker Journal Post #11

Final Blog Post:

In 4100S, we used various tools for making. On the first day of class, we were assigned a project in which we explored one specific tool. I learned how to control and program a Sphero. I really liked this tool, and I know it would capture the interest of students, but it didn’t work when we tried to use Spheros at Barrow. There are a wide range of apps, programs, and activities associated with Spheros, just like any of the tools we used to make. Such variation enhances creativity and makes ‘making’ even more interesting. Some other tools used include Green screen, Legos, duct tape designs, and straw mazes. Technology is a very effective tool for making, in which students can tinker and build using tools like Blokify, LittleBits, and 3D printing.

I liked using the hands-on tools best, such as duct tape designs and straw mazes because I’m used to it from my K12 education. My personal project was origami, and that further represents my enjoyment for arts and crafts. The kids at Barrow though are more interested in technology to create, which emphasizes the importance of STEAM education. I liked LittleBits the least because I had a hard time figuring out what to make with the various pieces. I could get a light to work, but never any of the other purposes like the sound. I wish I had the chance to use Makey Makey and Shrinky Dinks because they seemed to be very popular tools in Makerspace! Overall, I plan to use some of these tools I am familiar with in my future classroom.

Throughout this semester, I learned that creativity and tinkering develops a great maker. All of the activities used in Makerspace allowed me to experiment and learn more about math, science, and engineering. STEAM education is growing in popularity within the school system, and as a future educator, I’m grateful to be able to have a class like this one to introduce me to this concept. I learned that one activity can incorporate all different subjects. An example of a STEAM activity is Blokify. Students incorporate science and technology into their own creative building, learning more about landscapes. They use math by having to know each dimension or wall and knowing the number of blocks on each side. Students develop a plan and brainstorm as they tinker and fix their creation. That makes them an engineer as they tinker and improve their plan. Art is a component in every STEM activity because students are creating and designing their own product.

The days my group went out to Barrow for Makerspace were my all time favorite! I learned a lot about myself and how I am around children. This class reassured me that I want to become an elementary school teacher even more by my continuous engagement in their work. I also learned that children learn best when they are engaged in project-based education. When students want to learn, they take in so much more information than a lecture-style class. All students need Makerspace time to spark their creativity and get a break, while still learning so much. As I learned more about myself in Makerspace, students also learn about themselves as well and what they are capable of. For example, students got to make straw mazes. They each had their own way of starting the their mazes, and their own way of creating their course. Some mazes were smaller and more detailed, while others were large and simple. Regardless, each child made a successful maze. Instead of strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects, students in MakerEd have a chance to all be makers and be experts at it.

Maker Journal Post #10

PERSONAL PROJECT POST #4:

Today I decided to use the section titled “Origami for Kids” on the website, http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-for-kids.html. These can actually be used in classrooms, grades 2-4 specifically. I made a crown, a bear face, and a sampan. The crown could be used for children’s birthdays or a birthday party. The sampan could tie in some aspects of Chinese culture into this activity.

Some specific ideas for Makerspace could be origami bookmarks, flowers, envelopes, and paper airplanes. Teachers would only need to provide paper, scissors, rulers, and glue for this activity. This also adds emphasis to the culture of creativity and discovery in education. Students can make something of their own, and put concentration and effort into it. There are many origami books as well that can go along with particular origami designs. Students can grasp the idea of 3D objects, dimensions, and multi-views using this activity. Math is incorporated in the way that students must measure the paper and fold according to different measurements on the paper. There is also an activity called lumigami that illuminates origami creations with LED lights.

Another idea would be to incorporate writing into an origami activity by having children write a “How To,” explaining steps to create something of interest to them. They could write on paper, or add in the use of technology and create a page with pictures of each step. Students can express themselves using origami creations as well, and can have a sense of choice based on what they create. A Makerspace could allow students to create structures based on personal interests, using various materials besides construction paper, and present a gallery or final project at the end of the year.

Maker Journal Post #9

PERSONAL PROJECT POST #3:

Since I finished my origami garden, I’m going to create something new that interests me. The second part of my personal project will have more of a focus on stars. In elementary school, I remember the enjoyment gained from making stars, particularly the ninja star and the mini lucky star. The Ninja star is known as “Shuriken” in Japanese. I needed two pieces of paper, identical in size but different colors, for this particular creation. Each step that I did for one of the pieces of paper, I also did for the other. The corners of both are folded in opposite directions of one another on both the top and bottom. In step 15, I linked both pieces together to a form a ninja star. This one was the most difficult to make because you have to link the two pieces, and I couldn’t figure out which pieces went where.

The next piece of origami I worked on was the lucky star. Some people fill up a glass jar with these stars for traditional purposes. This is the only origami piece that started off with a different, strip-like piece of paper. I used a white strip of paper, 11 inches long by .5 inch wide. I started with a knot and basically wrapped the rest of the paper around the knot. To form the star shape, I pinched the sides as you can see below. This piece of origami has been the most simple so far.

Lastly, I made a pop-up star. The star isn’t revealed unto the very last step as parts of the paper pop-up. I started with the original 6 x 6 inch square paper, folding it in various ways. I eventually made many folds, representing the each point of the star, that become 3D at the end of the steps. This particular origami piece reminded me of the pop-ups made for children books. Individuals could also use these for decoration for events such as New Years Eve. Each fold has to be very defined of the creases won’t look like a star at the end of the makings.

Once again, a Makerspace would benefit from incorporating origami because  of the creativity needed to design something. Any child can be a maker as they tinker and create a whole collection of objects, like my garden and night sky. The instructions on http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-stars.html are easy-to-follow and suitable for beginner origami makers.

 

Maker Journal Post #8

PERSONAL PROJECT POST #2:

Today, I added onto my origami garden. I decided to make this more of a challenge for me, so I timed myself while making each flower. I learned a few things from my first personal project post. This time, I’m going to use a ruler to cut and fold each flower, and be more patient with each fold to better my creations. The flower I worked on first was the Yamaguchi Dahlia flower, seen below. This particular flower isn’t traditional origami, but still interesting and unique to me. I started with a small piece of paper, 3 x 3 inches, and folded according to the directions listed. I then repeated each step 8 times in order to form all of the petals needed for this flower. I then glued them together and spread each petal out to form a circle of pieces. This one was my favorite, and took me about 10 minutes! It is pictured on the top right below.

The next origami piece I made was the Kusudama Flower. This one is similar to the Yamaguchi Dahlia flower in that it consists of various pieces of paper glued together to form a larger flower. You can do 4 or 5 petals with this one, but I decided to make 4. The appearance includes larger flower petals, with smaller petals in each petal. Many people commonly make a bouquet of these flowers with different petal numbers and colors. I really enjoyed making this piece of origami. I also added a leaf to them, in which I made separately. I used a green paper, 6 x 6 inches, and folded many ways to form ripple-like folds into the paper. The leaf turned out to be larger than I expected, but it was still a good addition to any of my flowers. It took me about 8 minutes to make this.

Students can use this activity in Makerspace because they are tinkering and designing, while also using their own creativity. A teacher can guide students with the basic skills of origami to  learn and practice with first, and then individuals can branch off and design something based on their personal interests. Students can either use step-by-step instructions, or create origami pieces on their own. Younger grades would probably have the most interest in this origami project, but there are very complex designs to use for older-aged children as well. This particular activity adds emphasis to the A in STEAM. It’s an easy and affordable set up for teachers, and can spark the interests of all children.

My goals for next week are to perfect my origami skills, rather than time myself and rush, and put all of my focus into each of my creations. I’m going to move on from the origami garden, and make a few stars in the night sky. This personal project is a great time for me to take a break from my busy school schedule and tinker with paper making. I usually listen to music of my enjoyment while doing this to make my time even more peaceful. The website, http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-flowers.html, has a variety of levels and creations, which I used for my personal project.