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 →

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 →

Mint Box Miniature Landscapes

Introduction For the past couple of months I have worked on a project that has actually been years in the making, at least in my mind. Year after year, I saved up a number of old Altoids mint tins, knowing that I would start a project with them some day. I didn’t know precisely what... Continue Reading →

Time for Personal Projects

As the calendar year comes to an end, I write this one last post to share the importance of making and creativity for one's own personal growth and satisfaction. As maker educators, we spend a good deal of time working with students on their journeys into design, building, invention, and exploration. It is equally important,... Continue Reading →

Cardboard Construction for Kids!

As a previous blog post demonstrates, I am a huge fan of working with cardboard. It is a terrific medium for rapid prototypes and allows kids to experiment, test, make mistakes, and revise with little or no material cost. In that post I mentioned a number of tools and materials that can be used in conjunction... Continue Reading →

Halloween Haunt with Hummingbird Bit

Halloween is the perfect time to test out the new Hummingbird Bit from Birdbrain Tech. My plan is to create a remotely controlled ghastly ghost or scary skull, something that can be triggered at a little distance to light up and move. For $6, I picked up a hanging phantom from Target. It's not mechanical... Continue Reading →

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