I believe it is important for every student to have access to the makerspace. I also believe that clear expectations and student success sets the stage for a productive, fun, and safe year. As I mentioned in a previous post, all classes are invited to the makerspace for an “introduction” which includes a tour of the space, a guided discussion where students set the expectations for the makerspace, and then a group challenge. Each challenge is designed so that all students have a positive, successful first experience in the makerspace.
It took a lot of searching on the internet and networking with other teachers to find some age appropriate challenges that could be done in about 20 minutes. I owe a lot of thanks to the generous members of the Elementary STEM Specials Teachers Facebook group. There are always great posts of ideas, lessons, and even slide decks for others to use.
Below is the presentation for the grade 5 introduction and challenge that I created on my own. All of the other grade level presentations use the same format. I only change the challenge for each grade level. Feel free to copy and use, with attribution.
There have been some exciting creations, and to date the tallest tower is 86 cm (2’10”). Below you can see the process from planning to finished product. (Photos are with different groups of builders.)