The fall semester at UGA is coming to a close, which means that our wonderful support in our makerspace is taking a break. We will resume our open makerspace times in January when UGA cranks back up for spring semester. Today, Gretchen Thomas’s entire class from UGA came out to support our young makers. We pulled out many favorite activities from the semester: green screen, makey makey, littlebits, sphero, morse code bracelets, and safety pin bracelets. It was noisy and fun.
Having this class come out has exposed our students to so many of the tools in our makerspace and also taught the UGA students what is happening in elementary schools today and just what elementary learners are capable of. We are already brainstorming what next semester might look like. I hope to see some more advanced projects come out of what the students know now that they have some familiarity with the tools. Instead of just snapping littlebits together, I want to see them invent something. Instead of driving Sphero all over the library, I want to see some programming or a use of Sphero that has a purpose. Instead of playing a banana piano with makey makey, I want to see students designing their own programs that are controlled with all kinds of things that conduct. The tinkering piece is important, and I love that so many students now have a level of comfort with the makerspace tools with a lot of room to grow.
We also want to look at how we can take the makerspace on the road by visiting classrooms and showing teachers and students what happens in makerspace, especially for those that are unsure or hesitant. We started to notice the same kids always coming or teachers not sending kids for various reasons, so there’s a need to get out into the classrooms. We’ll also take a look at how to do another makerspace fieldtrip to the UGA campus sometime in the spring.