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!

3 thoughts on “Maker Day!”

  1. Ashley,
    You have some really great ideas! I also thought that I would start small before I begin a big community event. The thought of having the community involved makes me nervous and I would feel better if I had a trial run prior to the big event. I also like the idea of having one class participate and having the students choose one member from the school community to join. This definitely would give opportunities for collaboration and for a community feel throughout the maker day. Overall, great ideas!

    All the best,

  2. Hello Ashley!
    I love the variety of activities that you incorporated in your Maker Day proposal. The activities are not over complicated and meaningful. In a summer school program last year, we did the marshmallow tower activity with our eighth graders. They were really engaged with the activity and showed fantastic collaboration skills with one another!
    Great post!

  3. Ashley,
    You provided some really great ideas of maker projects to incorporate in your Maker Day. To be honest, when it came to implementing a Maker Day in the discipline of Culinary Arts, I had no idea of potential projects. Your spaghetti/marshmallow project is cool, innovative, and engaging. It reminds me of a similar tech project my students complete here, where partners use cardboard to make different towers to see which one can hold the heaviest weight.
    You were able to provide multiple project ideas, all being cheap and easy to obtain. That was very creative and smart of you. Great post and I hope you incorporate these projects in your future Maker Day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *