Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Building a Maker Space

I have wanted to build a Maker Space for some time, but have not been in a position that would use it. This year, I am working in a high school library which gives me a great venue for this project. The original plan was a Lego Wall, electric circuits, and some robotics pieces.

The first obstacle was money. I didn't have any. An email to staff for left over Legos produced none, and the Lego Wall was going to cost tons. I decided to scale back the project and purchase Snap Circuits, Cubelets, and an Osmo system. But how do I purchase these items? Donor's Choose to the rescue! Within a few months of putting my project on the site, the materials were sitting on my desk in the library.

Here is what we got:

Osmo is a gaming system that works with the iPad. Since our school is 1-to-1 iPad, this made sense. The starter kit provides the base and mirror that turns the surface in front of the iPad into an interaction space. Using the apps, players can guess words,  create tangrams, do math, practice physics and drawing all with this system.



Snap Circuits is a simple, easy, snap in place, exploration option for creating electric circuits. Kits come with many pieces and a project book for the circuit-challenged, like myself. Different kits are sold that create themes. My students especially like the Color kit that allows them to connect their music to the circuit and the lights in the circuit change to the beat of the music.



Cubelets are modular robotics pieces that combine together to move and function based on the configuration of the blocks. We bought a starter kit of 6 cubes, but more are available with each having it's own function.





This is just the beginning of our Maker Space adventure! I cannot wait to learn more next week at the Library Academy at TCEA in Austin, TX. More information to come!

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