Building Better Cardboard Prototypes

Working with middle school students on cardboard prototypes presents a number of challenges. Students at this age have had varying levels of experience making proper and accurate measurement, using tools effectively for cutting and marking, working with glue, and understanding design to a level that is up to the task of creating a three-dimensional prototype... Continue Reading →

An Invitation To Play

We often hear about an Invitation to Play as an open-ended hands-on activity used mostly in preschools, or at least among younger age children. This concept, inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching, "encourages children to learn through exploration, by providing  materials that 'invite them to play' in a creative, non-directive way, with no... Continue Reading →

CaNibble Table – DIY

I have long sought safe and simple ways for students to work with metal in our space. Or maybe better said, "I have long sought ways for me to work with metal." The fact that students get to benefit from this desire is a plus, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that the... Continue Reading →

Tinkercad, Table-Top Tips

TLDR: Download PDF now! This is the first in a series of Table-Top Tips I am creating for my students to use. These tips are designed to be printed, then assembled accordion-style. I provide these so that students can have quick access to the basic concepts I cover during the instructional stages of any new... Continue Reading →

From Maker Space to Maker Mindset

From the iconic Kevin Costner film, Field of Dreams, comes the now famous line "If you build it, they will come." Over the years, I have heard maker educators use this same line when speaking about their personal efforts to bring a maker space to the school in which they work. There's even a documentary by... Continue Reading →

DIY Accessory Design

Our sixth graders are finishing up their work on the Legends of the Trash Creatures project. This interdisciplinary, environmentally focused project tasks students with (among many other requirements) the creation of a 5' tall creature made of trash and embedded with Hummingbird Robotics to allow it to sense the environment and react with sound, lights,... Continue Reading →

Social Entrepreneurship and Meaningful Work

What is Social Entrepreneurship? When we hear the word “entrepreneur” we immediately conjure up images of an innovator, risk-taker, and creator. An entrepreneur is someone who sees a problem, develops a solution to that problem, and builds a business around that solution. By a similar token, a social entrepreneur applies these same skills toward problems... Continue Reading →

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