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!

How can design thinking help me to create an inclusive makerspace in my classroom?

Thinking about an inclusive classroom means all students are included, regardless of ability or gender. Often people (and students) are categorized by ability and gender and are judged right off the bat. According to Invent to Learn by Martinez, it is human nature to size up a room and get a feeling if one belongs or not. Our students have the same feeling when they enter a classroom. All must feel included and able to complete something in the classroom in order to contribute their learning in some way.

Makerspaces are a great way to include all students! Having students working with their hands and creating masterpieces will give all students a sense of belongingness and a sense of accomplishment. This is also done with the aid of the facilitator, the teacher, to help students understand all have the ability to complete something, some may have to problem solve more than others but that is what makerspace is all about, tinkering!

Temple Grandin was a guest speaker on SUNY Oneonta’s campus which I was able to view digitally through Youtube, “Calling All Minds with Temple Grandin”. She gave great advice and information toward including all students, including those who have a categorized disability. She spoke from experience and the first major point that stuck out to me was that long strands of information is not beneficial to students. This is included in hands on activities, those that would be included in a makerspace. Giving directions in small segments is best for all students. Furthermore, she mentioned the importance of giving students choices. When students feel in control of their learning they are more engaged in the lesson and content. She also brought up how NASA has many employees that are on the spectrum and do miraculous things! And she connected this to learning through tinkering. This is required in order to make something work- problem solving at its best! Lasting, she brought up how classes, such as cooking classes fosters creativity and problem solving. We need to keep these classes in schools to help students develop these skills, which is why tinkering is important in culinary classes for all students!

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2019). Learning. In C. Sinclair (Ed.), Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Youtube: Calling All Minds with Temple Grandin

Budget for Makerspace: Food Science Edition

Class: Food Science, Level  3, Total Students: 14 

Squishy Circuits: Properties of Ingredients 

ItemsUse Cost/ UnitTotal CostSource/ Store
First Aid KitSafety$16.82$16.82
50 pcs 10mm White LED Diode LightsSquishy Circuits- light$7.40 $7.40
AmazonBasics AA 1.5 Volt Performance Alkaline Batteries – Pack of 100Squishy Circuits- power$23.99$23.99
Battery HolderSquishy Circuits- power holder$7.50$105.00
Dough Ingredients:
(water)FlourVeg oilCream of tartarSaltGranulated alumsugar
Squishy circuits- dough$0$0Culinary dept budget

Needed Total: $153.21

I would seek funding for all options through two different grants. One local grant which is my schools grant offered for all teachers to apply for supplies in class. Second location I would go to for funding would be the Perkins grant. I am very familiar with Perkins as the CTE department gets a lot of supplies, resources and funding for career and industry related materials. This would fit in with the food science class, therefore these items could be considered materials for the class itself.

What types of circuits could I use and how might they enhance student learning in my content area.

I love this week’s topic as it really has me thinking outside of the box for connections of circuits and culinary. There are a lot more relatable experiences than I would have even imagined. I really enjoyed viewing the TedTalk with Annmarie Thomas as she described the simple ways to use dough to conduct electricity. Instantly, I thought how awesome would this be for a food science class, which I currently teach! Preparing homemade dough with different products would lead to a great discussion into understanding the properties of ingredients and their role in cooking, through circuit work and squishy circuits. This is a must to try out! 

Coin battery operated LED lights are another great way to pull circuit work into the classroom or use in an afterschool program. I like the example provided to create an origami balloon mood light- I think this would fit perfectly with my after school club called Life Hacks which focuses on DIY projects, information students need to know when they graduate and other real-world experiences to help them figure out what they enjoy and are good at! 

Furthermore, another way to incorporate circuits is through throwies! This is something that can be done inexpensively with a battery, tape, magnet and LED light, making each one around $1 in price. I had not heard about these until now, and I want to get involved in the throwie movement in NYC! I think it is a creative way to decorate the community.

How have teachers used Chibitronics in the classroom?

“Chibitronics is a paper electronics toolkit made up of sticker-based modules for building circuits [19]. These modules are a flat, flexible and paper-friendly alternative to standard electronic components. The kit includes LEDs, sensors and a programmable microcontroller that can be connected with copper tape. (Qi)”

Chibitronics is being used in all grade levels and can be used for any subject area, even culinary! When we think about an enhancement to learning we first must think about how to effectively implement the new tool and how it will apply to the lesson you want students to learn. I find chibitronics to be very user-friendly compared to other technical kits which makes it easy for students to catch on. They are able to make their pages come to life! Teachers can now have students create 3D items and add lights on to learn about circuits and negative and positive reactions. 

Some teachers may be reluctant to use this as they may see it as a distraction, but it should be looked at engagement. If you give students markers glue and scissors they can be just as distracted so why not teach students about something new that could spark their interest, and teach them problem-solving skills. Chibitronics lets students get more creative than ever through science projects to teach nerve transmission, math problems to learn angles, and English storyboards. Interactive flashcards are another great way to engage students in their learning.

The possibilities are endless with the idea of chinitronics. Educators can not be fearful of using things like this in the classroom- students will love it! Trying new things will teach students more than just the content desired! 

Lindberg, E. (2017). Light-Up Neuron. BrainFacts/SfN.

Qi, J. (2018). Chibitronics in the Wild: Engaging New Communities in Creating Technology with Paper Electronics.

How could the use of wearable/fabric technologies enhance my curriculum?

What if the chef coat had a technology transformation equipped with fans, microchips and computer screens?  Roberta Donato, proposed a theory for a new chef coat redesigned with technology in mind. 

Picture by Roberta Donato, source: 

After reviewing her sketch, I found it completely intriguing in terms of design and technological advances. Having interactive computer screens would allow for chefs to access information quickly, fans for cooling around the neck, heat sensors, and magnets would improve the chef jacket immensely.  This would be something to bring up to students as this could be a great discussion and could be turned into a lesson for students to create their own chef jacket with technological adjustments. 

When it comes to wearable/fabric technologies, there are many avenues that could be taken, such as iWatches, GoPros and light up/ motion sensored items. Using GoPros in the culinary classroom would allow for students to create their own videos, hands free which is a win for sanitation! They could create videos that are similar to the popular ‘Tasty’ videos. 

Another way to include wearable technology in the class would be using Google Glass, would would allow my students to watch a video of my on their smartphone/ school device and copy the process as they work in the kitchen. This would change the dynamic of cooking labs forever!

Donato, R., & Robinson, M. (2017, March 8). The Future of Chefware: A Fashionista In The Kitchen. Retrieved from

Socher, R., Socher, R. S. R., Socher, R., Socher, R., Wearable Technologies, & Wearable Technologies. (2018, September 6). How Wearable Technology Can Transform the Restaurant Industry? Retrieved from

STEAM meets Culinary

When integrating STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into curriculum we must think of the outcome we are desiring for the students. There needs to be a value and reason why they are completing the task, while still staying on track with standards. This can be done easier than most believe, and most educators are probably integrating STEAM without even knowing it! One way this  can be achieved is with project-based learning, which can impactful when learning any topic. Being hands on and creating a project will get students engaged. In addition this gives students an opportunity to present their work to their peers and the outside community to receive feedback and iterate (Gunn). Furthermore when integrating STEAM into the classroom it is important for all students to have confidence in themselves and have a sense of belongingness to be successful. This will help students in their future, because as humans we need to belong to succeed and survive (Burns). 

When it comes to integrating STEAM in family and consumer science classrooms, there are a lot of opportunities for students due to the nature of the classroom being more focused on hands on work. STEAM is built into almost every lesson of FACS 6-12. When thinking about the high school level, all cooking labs incorporate science, tech, engineering, art, math and literacy skills. An example would be testing ingredients in a “test kitchen” set up students can understand the function of each ingredient in the item. From there, students can hypothesize, test recipe outcomes using controls and variables as well as create or adapt recipes (Washington FACS Educators). Another way STEAM could be integrated would be do use an inexpensive ingredient such as popcorn. Students would study how the transfer of thermal energy turn corn into an edible product- popcorn. This could go a step further and students could study which type of dried corn are best for popcorn and can even go on to inventing a new popcorn device using various heat sources. Next, another idea is using baking to teach fractions and experiment with different variations of the ingredients used. This can be taken a step further to study the chemical interactions of the cookies components (Henderson). 

Burns, H. (2017). Infusing Empathy Into Engineering Design: Supporting Under-represented Student Interest and Sense of Belongingness. American Society for Engineering Education.

By. (2016, November 16). Baking Builds FACS STEAM. Retrieved from

Culinary arts integration: Turning STEM into STEAM. (2016, July 7). Retrieved from

Gunn, J. (2018). English Teachers: How You Can Use STEAM in Your Classroom. Concordia University-Portland. Retrieved from

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (2019). Learning. In C. Sinclair (Ed.), Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (pp. 35-44). Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Tinkering with Blogging

When it comes to blogging it is always important to think about what the audience sees. You want your blog to be engaging, direct and clear. Graphics are what makes blogs appealing, so I was excited to add pictures that correlated with each post. In addition, it was fun to navigate through text colors, backgrounds and adding components to the blog. I had a few problems with getting the layout to be what I expected, so trial and error was the best way to achieve the desired look. Honestly, just playing around allowed me to improve my blog.