Wrapping Up Enrichment Clusters: The Maker Faire Fanatics and The Power of Code

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For 14 weeks, I’ve worked with a group of students in 2nd-5th grade to explore the world of making.  We met every Wednesday for one hour.  They used littleBits, MaKey MaKey, 3d printing, duct tape, cardboard, and robotics to dream up all sorts of things.  Ultimately, they were supposed to offer a service to an authentic audience or create a product to show.

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A few weeks into our clusters, Ms. Freeman, 5th grade teacher, asked if she could combine with our cluster.  Her cluster was The Power of Code and focused on the many tutorials available on Code.org.  What we both found was that each of our clusters had something that the other needed in order to create something truly miraculous.  The coding students knew some things about programming and the maker kids knew some things about putting things together.

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One example of a project that took off after our combination was a video game.  A few students banded together to design their own video game.  The plan was to create the program in Scratch, build an arcade game out of cardboard, and control the game using MaKey MaKey.  The kids made great progress on their work, but they didn’t quite get finished.  I hope that they sign up for open makerspace time to continue their work.

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Our cluster time ended with 2 big culminating activities. The biggest was our field trip to UGA to host a popup makerspace and pass on our knowledge to others.

The last was to create a short video of our clusters to share at our school assembly.

This was an bright group of students to work with and I look forward to continuing to make and code with them the rest of this year and beyond.  They have taught me many things.

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