Makers Education, is part of the maker movement. This movement gained steam on 2006 and was termed by Dale Dougherty. However, making is not new nor is the ‘learning by doing’ concept. Maker education is part of a lineage of progressive education theorist pioneers such as: Friedrich Froebel , Reggio Emilia , John Dewey and Seymour Papert . But in the 21st century the makers movement has progressed to incorporate not just artistry and craftsmanship but also circuitry, coding, rapid prototyping tools such as CAD or 3D printers etc.
These values of artistry, circuitry and craftsmanship are becoming the core principles of of 21st-century skills. Using artistry or creative thinking, circuitry for problem solving and craftsmanship for building are encouraged to combine ideas of science, technology, math, engineering and hands-on tinkering to build alternative solutions to existing problems. Teachers and leaders in education technology are integrate these elements into classrooms, also known as makerspaces.
But making does not require a makerspace — making does and can happen in traditional classrooms or even at home. Often with the help of strategies like having maker carts (i.e.: A cart or box filled with maker supplies. It can be an easy, low-budget way for stock materials needed creative projects).
We have identified some items that you can keep in your maker kits at home.
Cardboard, Tape and Crafting Materials
Cardboard is no strange material for kids. Like paper, kids would have certainly used cardboard either in class for projects or activities so starting with this material will be encouraging for your kids who already know the properties of this material and know the process required to mold and make from cardboard.
Along with card get your kids to used other materials such as cups, string, tape, toothpicks, Popsicle sticks, glue, hole punches, various types of paper, crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, colored pencils, felt and stuffing, a sewing kit would be a great idea too.
You can add to this activity by either writing down instructions for your kids to follow. Better yet, get them to first plan their activity, get them to write instructions first and then begin.
Makey makey is a fun “Invention Kit”, and toy that you can to connect everyday objects and program to make fun things out of. For example: attach the circuits to fruits and to the board, then make the apples and banana’s sing! and it is that simple to use!
LEGO Wedo is a kit with Lego blocks with circuitry.They serve as an easy introduction to robotics, specifically designed for Kindergarten to Grade 2 students. As with other LEGO Education products it follows the 4 C’s process – Connect to a story, Construct a model, Contemplate its function, and Continue improving its design.
LittleBits are modules that break apart and can be put back together in multiple ways to create new inventions. Each kit comes with a range of input and output boards. LEGO
Whether you are teaching science, technology, engineering, math or any cross-curricular combination, the 3Doodler can be used to instantly ideas from their brains to the real world in no time. The 3Doodler allows anyone to create objects,simply by drawing.
These are not the only options available to have a maker cart. There are many digital and non-digital kits in the market. First it is important that you recognize where your kid’s interest lie. The second key initiative to encourage kids to plan and execute their as many of their ideas as possible.
If you are a maker please write to us showcasing your built ideas. We would love to share it with the SteamDaily community.
Harshada is an experienced design researcher, focusing on working with kids, education pedagogy and educators. She is the editor of Steamdaily bringing to your insights, updates, interviews, and thoughts of the rapidly evolving world of edtech.