In the JS Library Makerspace, we aim to develop students love of learning through hands-on learning by challenging the thinking process.
It is “a holistic approach that links the disciplines so that the learning becomes connected, focused, meaningful, and relevant to learners” (Smith & Karr-Kidwell, 2000, p. 22).
To celebrate our first week of our newly renovated library (which includes the Makerspace) the students were offered the opportunity to participate in the Global Day of Design (26th April #GDD16). Over three days, we offered three design challenges based on literature.
As a part of the Design Process, the students worked in groups to complete the challenge and then reflected on the learning (all in 30 minutes!).
The students were also exposed to the engineering design process which includes identifying a problem, developing ideas and solutions, and sharing these solutions with others.
Huff n Puff
Designing a bridge for the Billy Goats Gruff
Shake it Up
Designing an earthquake proof building
The Sky is the Limit
Paper plane designs
(Stealth: longest flight time in air)
toothpicks, masking tape and 3 marshmallows
playing cards and ½ metre of masking tape
Billy Goats have to be attached to a marshmallow.
Have to use all the toothpicks
Have to use all the playing cards.
1 A4 piece of paper
Some of the students’ thoughts:
Need to keep it stable and safe and so we used two cards per wall
We thought of strategies to keep the building up
All the parts have a function
Triangles have more stability than other things
Thought about the ways to stabilise and use all the cards
To use the triangle method not the cube
The ICT Mentors for 2016 were introduced to the Design Thinking concept and were available as support for the groups. They exhibited a wonderful enthusiasm and attitude to their role. Well done.
The focus for the JS Library Makerspace in Term 4 is exploration with robotics.
Students have access to the following robotic resources
In Term 1 some Year 1 students were able to learn with the Lego WeDo).
Additionally, we try to match the concepts to literature.
Photos of students at the initial mentor training session
The ICT Mentors (and friends) have learnt how to use the cubelets and the sphero in an introductory session in order to teach other students. These student were already competent in the use of Bee Bots.
As a part of the construct of the Makerspace, it is desired to have some permanent stations or activities for the students as well as ones that are temporary and supervised (led by a teacher or the ICT Mentors) in order to support the more complex programs and tasks.
Year 3 ICT Mentor in Training Mentoring Preps!
Permanent Stations for Exploration: Bee Bot
The Bee Bots will be available each day and at first break.
The Sphero will be able to be ‘borrowed’ by other students (with a trained student willing to support the other students in its use and to assist with trouble shooting).
Temporary Station for Exploration: Cubelets
In Week 4 students across the Junior School will have the opportunity to use these resources and will be set a collaborative challenge to complete.
See below more information about these challenges below (select thumbnail to view larger size).
On Monday 27th April, select students from Year 3, with the support of the Year 6 ICT Mentors participated in a PROGRAMMING WITH APPS session.
The students were introduced to the following concepts:
What a program is
How a computer ‘thinks’
Computer languages and visual programming
They experimented with following instructions and thinking computationally through the use programmable Bee-Bots and the Bee-Bot app. These tools are excellent for reinforcing directional and procedural language.
Through the use of visual programming apps, the students also learnt to create simple programs. Apps like Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable support students to learn to code by solving puzzles. The ability to problem solve is a critical and creative skill for students to develop.
The students were now ready to create their own program using Scratch Jnr. This app has a drag and drop interface designed specifically for programming with younger children.
The students were given the task to collaboratively design a simple story, selecting an appropriate setting and writing an interaction between characters. This task made connections between the story writing process and computer literacy through programming. The ICT Mentors supported and directed the younger students exceptionally well at this stage.