Ohio River Consortium: The Schools

Ohio River Consortium: The Schools

Well, because of makerspaces were hoping that in the classroom, we will see some changes to the way that people engage with the curriculum and the students engage with the curriculum. I see the maker movement going into the regular classroom in a lot of different ways. I can see maybe activity in language arts, or history, or even math, where a student might not be as engaged, but they have the chance to use their hands, and now they’re making something three-dimensional out of this problem that was on paper. Now we’re doing a whole lesson in the makerspace just on how to attach things, and what does it mean to attach or what does it mean to have different types of texture. And using those conversations, to then, how the students create an idea or invention and then be able to describe it. One of the ways that teachers might begin to engage students differently is to have students begin with an end in mind; a design idea that we want them to get to, and then have the students really work backwards from that point. Rather than simply telling the students what we want them to learn, we’re giving them that goal, and the students are learning by really continuing to problem solve to find new and interesting ways to meet that goal. We’ve already started doing that with some of our research in social studies classes here at the elementary level and to enhance what we’re doing, through getting the students to do problem-solving activities and then actual making activities related to that curriculum. The project-based learning that happens with the maker projects, a lot of times it happened in this room, are essentially being, now, infused into the general curriculum throughout other classes all day long. I feel that children are being engaged in their learning by reading about something in their regular ed. classroom and being able to actually take that information and apply it and create something that is there own. In participating in the robot building activity, the students are learning a lot of different skills: problem-solving, design; they’re doing a design challenge to come up with a robot that serves a purpose in this society. It has to have movable parts. It has to have all of its parts connected properly. It has be able to stand or sit without falling down. So, they’re learning how are they going to attach pieces, they’re finding out what adhesives would work, also coming up with a game plan and seeing how their plan changes throughout the process. They are learning from failure as well as success. When things don’t go their way, how can they make improvements and how can they change and I’m also showing them that these skills that they’re learning, they can use other places other than in art. Making isn’t just this bubble that encompasses in one class. It can be used outside of the classroom in daily life. How can you make something that you can use for your problems that you have to solve in life.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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