Coders, Innovators, Makers…Please donate to our Donors Choose Project to build our library makerspace

FireShot Screen Capture #019 - 'Coders, Innovators, Makers_ Creating a Library Makerspace' - www_donorschoose_org_project_coders-innovators-makers-creating-a-l_1253089__rf=link-siteshare-2014-07-teacher_accoun

Update:  This project was fully funded in less than 24 hours.  Thank you to all who contributed and shared!

View our project here!

(Don’t forget to use the code “INSPIRE” at checkout!)

Here are the details of where this project is coming from:

Our library has always been a space where we value creating and sharing just as much as consuming information.  Last year because of a Donors Choose project, our library received a 3D printer and it allowed our students to create things that they had never even thought of.  The makerspace culture is alive and well in our library, but we have  a long way to go to exploring makerspaces and how the culture of a makerspace supports students, teachers, and families.

Over the summer, I had an article published in Teacher Librarian about the culture of creation that we are developing in our library and school.  In that article, I talk about the culture, but at some point you have to get some “stuff” to create with.

“Building a Culture of Creation” in the June 2014 issue of Teacher Librarian

This year, one of our library goals is to give students, teachers, and families opportunities to dream, tinker, create, and share.  A part of this is developing the tools that are available for creating in our library.  Our space which we thought was going to be a studio is now going to be a makerspace within our library.  A portion of our library funding this year will be dedicated to developing our makerspace.  After attending an Invent to Learn workshop and focusing on makerspaces at ISTE this summer, I have chosen some next steps for our makerspace.

Our library budget this year will fund:

A littleBits workshop set:

 

A litteBits Space kit:

 

4 MaKey MaKey kits:

 

A Hummingbird robotics kit:

 

This Donors Choose project will extend our budget and give students even more access to maker materials by adding.

littleBits Cloud:

4 additional MaKey MaKey kits:

Sphero:

 

I hope that you will consider supporting our project.  It will impact numerous students, teachers, and families within our school through projects, alternative recess activities, enrichment clusters, and afterschool workshops. Even if you can’t contribute financially, please consider sharing this project within your own networks. I will be sure to blog about our explorations throughout the year.  Thank you in advance!

Banding Together with Rainbow Loom, Makerbot, and Libraries

Back at the beginning of the new year, my friend Shannon Miller in Van Meter, IA told me she was planning to do a research project that involved Rainbow Loom bracelets.  When she started implementing the project in her library, it organically grew into something much larger.  Through connections with In This Together Media , the project developed into “Banding Together”.  You can read the full details of the project here:  https://www.smore.com/n65m

Here are the basics:

  • Students at Van Meter, Barrow, and multiple schools around the country are making Rainbow Loom bracelets.
  • The bracelets will be sent to a school in Mangalore, India
  • Along with the bracelets, we will send poetry written by students, 3D printed charms designed by students, and a disposable camera to take pictures to send back

I announced the project this week on our morning BTV.  I placed a collection box for Rainbow Loom bracelets on our circulation island, and by the end of the day, a few bracelets had already been donated.  Students asked me about the project all day.  By the next day, several kids were bringing bracelets in.  I was so surprised by the generosity and enthusiasm from the students to send their bracelets across the miles.

First Day

Second Day

 

Next, we started designing charms for 3D printing.  I had already experimented some on my own, and I sent Shannon Miller a file that I made so that her students could print it and learn from the file too.  Her students took my file and modified it or examined it in order to design their own.

Shannon’s students in Iowa being inspired by the file I sent them

I have a group of 5th graders who have been exploring different technology and how they might support other classes trying to use that technology.  They have already been exploring Tinkercad to design objects for 3D printing, so I knew they would catch on fast to the idea of making charms.

charm design (2) charm design (3) charm design (4)

Since the Banding Together project has a lot to do with spreading the joy in our hearts, we have focused our charm design on that theme.  We decided that each charm should have some kind of heart.  Dmitri designed a heart with a heart hole in the center.  Walker designed a charm with the word “love”.  Instead of an “o” he used a heart.  I designed a triple heart to symbolize India and the US uniting together with our shared joy.  We took these first 3 designs and made sure that they printed correctly.  Once we saw how they worked, we started mass production.

charm design (5) charm design (7)

As charms were ready, parent volunteers helped put them on bracelets.  Dmitri and Walker also became quality control and made sure that all of the Rainbow Loom bracelets we were sending had joy-filled quality.  They continued attaching charms.

quality

We are waiting on a few more designs to be completed and we will ship our first batch of bracelets and charms.

Next week, we are adding a new layer onto the project with poetry, so look for an update soon about this exciting development that our 2nd graders will be involved in.

I love how this is a project that students in all grades can be a part of whether they made bracelets, wrote poetry, designed charms, or helped with packaging and quality.  We truly are banding together in more ways than one.

charm design (1)

 

 

Makerspace Maniacs Enrichment Cluster

first robots (10)For about 4 weeks, a group of 2nd-5th graders have been meeting with me on Fridays from 8:15-9:15AM.  This time is called enrichment clusters at our school which basically means that kids select a group based on their interest and spend a period of time learning and creating around that topic.  Our cluster is called Makerspace Maniacs.  Our first sessions have been about exploring the world of making.

first robots (3)

So far we have:

  • Watched Caine’s Arcade and explored the idea of making interactive creations with cardboard.

  • Watched Sylvia Super Awesome Maker Show and explored how we can take our creations and create instructional videos about them.

  • Watched Landfill Harmonic and explored how makers take other people’s trash or unwanted items and turn them into functional creations.

  • Watched how a 3D printer works and imagined what we would create on it.

  • Tinkered with Lego robotics and programming.
  • Explored making things out of duct tape.

Now, students are beginning to think about what they are interested in spending more time with.  Right now, we have a lot of interest in robotics.  Today, one student spent time exploring the directions to build a mindstorm NXT robot and began the building process.  Another group of students looked at the Lego WeDo kit and followed instructions to build an alligator.  Other students spent time, exploring how the various lego pieces fit together.  Since their interests are so drawn to robotics, Christa Deissler from UGA will be helping me coordinate a guest speaker to talk to students and demonstrate programming of robots.

first robots (9)Seeing something tangible really inspires the students.  Today a student figured out how to use the WeDo software to make the alligator open and close its mouth.  When students saw this happen, they immediately wanted their creations to do something too.  Once we get past the exploration stage, I think students are going to want to get into the workings of the programming software and figure things out.

In other news, our Donors Choose project to get a 3D printer is fully funded!  This will give these students access to even more tools for making.  Two other classes already have ideas for how the printer might be used in their own projects.  Once it’s here, I’m sure that there will be lots of exploring, learning, and sharing between classes to figure out how this tool can support the learning in classrooms.

first robots (7) first robots (5) first robots (2) first robots (1)