Today, Middle School teachers had the pleasure of working with Meg Cureton on a design thinking flash lab centered around making connections with one another. Connections: Design Thinking Flash Lab
Part of the flash lab included these two excellent videos (we may have skipped the second one, actually, be we’ve used it before and it’s really good).
Get Things Done
We had a few hours to get some things done on our own and grab some lunch. Then, we followed up on our morning flash lab with some creative time in the Studio(i) maker space. We took our low-res prototypes and turned them into something more high-res and impactful for one another. We also learned how to use several of the technologies in the studio.
Middle School Maker Lab
Make, Design, and Engineering @ MVPS
A Full Day
Started the day with a fantastic Middle School Admin Team Retreat, followed by an incredible Maker session where I learned about the Studio(i) experience, designed and printed using the laser cutter, and earned a badge! It was a fantastic turn out and professional learning event considering it is summer time. Next, I went to training session for this week’s Fuse conference with the fantastic Red Team followed by a fun team dinner at Village Burger. Finally, I ended the day by reading to each of my children and going for a night walk and swim. Blessed.
A few weeks ago, 3 students approached me and asked if they could use our 3D Printer. “Of course!,” I said, not knowing that the printer wasn’t actually working. The students identified the necessary part and purchased it. They repaired the machine and it has been buzzing ever since, cranking out some cool, preliminary calibration products.
How might we encourage our students’ passions and create greater access to maker technology and curriculum?
The past couple of mornings, I’ve received several unexpected student visitors to my office. My desk is covered in papers, my nose buried in a laptop while diligently working to accomplish a variety of projects, but thankfully I know when to put all of the ‘important stuff’ on hold. What’s more important than taking the time to listen and talk to a passionate and curious learner?
One student came in to show me the BB-8 robot he got for Christmas. He just walked right in, opened up the box, placed the robot on the floor, and showed me how he controlled it with his phone. Cool!
Another pair of students dropped by to ask if they could print a 3D printer using another 3D printer. They want to print a better printer so they can print drones that they can sell through the business they’ve created. What!? That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever heard. Their enthusiasm is so strong that they offered to pay for the part (our current printer is a hand-me-down from the Upper School and it gets jammed after 15 hours of printing – requiring constant replacement). When student engagement occurs naturally – don’t get in the way!
There is a student who is planning to strap a GoPro to his head and film a day in his life, then upload to his e-portfolio. I secured two different devices and he has been stopping the front office to prepare. We ordered a memory card yesterday. We discussed how teachers might use this same technology to capture their lessons for a) self reflection and professional learning or b) posting to their websites for students to review.
Every year, we have the opportunity to propose a wish list of technology items to be used by students and teachers in our school. What a blessing! I am grateful that we can “say yes” to so many ideas. It seems only fitting to involve a wide range of stakeholders in the conversation as they are the primary users of any emerging technology we purchase. Today, I met with the Digital Media class, as well as a few other students. We brainstormed a great list of ideas.