Now that your maker mindset has set in and you are thinking that messy making in your classroom is a real possibility, let’s see how we manage to engage students in making.
First of all, having some materials in your classroom to make with is not as difficult as it sounds. You may put a call out for parents to help with objects that may be in the home or you may have a small budget with which to purchase some consumables. One of the best ways to collect materials for your makerspace is to have an on-going take-apart station in your classroom or learning commons. A take-apart station can house electronics or appliances or anything that you feel you can scavenge parts from.
Books like “Unscrewed” by Ed Sobey help you figure out the best items to take apart and what you can salvage from each item.
You may want to add a few items from the Dollar Store to help students imagine a prototype for making. Do you put all your consumables out at once? Not a chance. Everything would disappear before you turned around. One experience at a makerspace that I had made sense to me. Once students have designed a prototype and taken a good second look at it, they can present their plan in order to access the materials they need to build it. That way item are planned to be used and embellishment can be indulged in at the end of the prototyping (if at all).
Next time we will talk about task design. Task design is one thing about making that is probably my biggest struggle. I want students to be engaged and invested in the task but making it personal for them is something that is not easy for me. Let’s look at task design together next time.