Maker Day!

When it comes to a maker day it is important to start small to work out the kinks before going to a full community day. When creating a maker day, it is important to think about the number of people attending, then determine the best projects to fit in with budgeting purchases. 

To start, I would have one class participate. I would require each student to ask a person in the school to attend to create a sense of community within the school before bringing it to the outside community. The maker partner could be another teacher, administrator, support staff, nurses, cafeteria worker, custodian, any adult in the building. This will give exposure to makerspaces and will get students excited to pick someone to bring in!

One makerspace challenge for the day that would be completed would be the Egg Drop Challenge. I would have students and their maker partner pair up with another student and partner to create groups of 4. Groups would be given materials, such as 15 straws (with the paper wrappers), 1 yard of masking tape and 1 egg. Leading to this being a low costing project that could be supported by the culinary budget. Overall time for this challenge would be approximately 45 minutes. More  information can be found here:

Another project that could be completed would be The Spaghetti Marshmallow Challenge which is an activity for a person at any stage in design thinking to practice prototyping in testing. The activity, which is planned to run for 45 minutes. The materials needed are tape, string, spaghetti, and marshmallows.

Each team(student and maker partner)  has 20 minutes to build the tallest, free-standing structure using the materials supplied to each group. The marshmallow must be attached to the top of the structure you build. After 20 minutes, the height of each structure will be measured. 

The winner is the team whose free-standing structure is the tallest which brings tinkering and the culinary world together! For more information click here: 

Both challenges include materials that can be conveniently found in a culinary room which makes both of these projects a great start for a maker day for other teachers and support staff to see the benefits of including building.

Lastly, as a closing activity, I think it would be fun to incorporate would be the LED throwies that have become popular around big cities, such as NYC. LED throwies are an easy way to ease into using LEDs and basic circuit work. The cost is about $1.00/ throwie which are made with a lithium battery, a 10mm diffused LED and a rare-earth magnet taped together. This is a cheap and easier way to make a space more inviting with colorful lights. An area outside of the school could be dedicated to a space for throwies, enticing the community to see what they are. For more information on Throwies check out this link:

Eventually, it would be the goal to make this school-wide, including the outside community and families to see how this can be such an impactful day. For the future makerspace, including people such as librarians, tech mentors and directors would be needed to incorporate more materials for more tech-based makerspace projects. After seeing the success on a smaller scale, it would be hopeful to obtain funding for a larger maker day!