Monday, 5 May 2014

Keeler School Maker Stations: Part 2

Kids in the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades have all carried out science experiments and designed things during their lunch hour... For no reason other than because they want to! It has been outstanding, bizarre and wonderful to watch kids use our maker stations. It turns out that any project can, and should, be turned into a maker station for our learning commons.

Station 1: Parachutes. Read here about our parachute maker station. Since that post, there have been about 20 parachutes made by kids in different grades, and supported by grade 6 students who fielded their questions.
Kids (grade 2 and 5) building parachutes at lunch

Station 2: Pulleys. Kids are doing a series of progressive challenges for pulleys, during LC times. The engagement was outstanding... So we opened it up for lunch time exploration. As kids were exploring at lunch, the grade 4s tried things we hadn't yet asked them to: They made cross-library zip lines as well as double, and even triple, pulley systems.

If you look closely, you'll see a pulley
system from one part of the LC to
Station 3: Raspberry Pi. Although we're not studying programming in a classroom, we got our hands on a Raspberry Pi computer (loaded with Scratch) and a TV donated to our school. The domino effect was hilarious... At the first recess there were 2 kids around the computer. At lunch there were 4. The next day there were 8. The day after that, there were more. Questions I recorded:
  • How do you make him walk?
  • How could we make a background? Can it move while he's walking?
  • What if he jumped on that guy, what would happen? How could we make something happen? 
  • Who can teach us? Where can...Youtube!! (And the students ran off to another computer)
In the past couple weeks we have really explored how we can use the space, and I think we've found it: These maker stations seem to be next step in the evolution of our LC!

Kids collaborating as they learn to program

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