Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

I believe one of the things I would need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for my school is the help of the students!  Martinez discusses the many ways kids can be involved in coordinating this special day.  Everything from planning, organizing, and running the event.  There are too many ideas to list here, but the ones I find great are having kids make posters, post photos, and market the event before it happens, and when the day arrives, serve as guides and operate information kiosks, greet guests, and handle as much of the activities as possible.

Another good idea is to have about 10-20 planned activities and booths.  Some of the booth ideas presented by Martinez are good starters.  Small and large scale Marble runs.  After getting my daughter a marble run kit for Christmas one year, she decided to be creative and build her own with available materials.  It was great cause she had wonderful ideas for ramps, jumps, catches, and paths.  It didn’t work the first time, and that’s the idea.  Kids need to modify them til they do work!  Make a scribble bot with available materials like a cup, markers, and off-center motor.  Make cardboard machines called Cardboard Automata.  And create squishy circuits with your own handmade dough.

There were a number of great ideas from the National Maker Faire in D.C. June 16, 2015. One great would one would be learning physics through using Hot Wheels.  You decorate your own car, or make your own car and race them against other kids.  Or you can create ramps, roads, and stunts and compete.  Hot Wheels developed a free STEM curriculum called Speedometry that helps teach some physics in these small cars. Capital One is getting in the maker scene and had a booth that allowed kids to make their own duct tape wallet, or create apps, or use little bots by programming them.  They will be “investing $150 million over the next 5 years, in skills for the 21st century, small business, and financial well-being.”  (Normal, 2015) Other activities included making a no carve stamp tool with caulk and plexiglass, a blimp with balloons and straws, a flip lamp that turn off and on by flipping the lamp itself, and paper craft activities such as making a figure.

I believe it’s important to get local businesses, organizations, parental volunteers, and other supporters to get involved.  With a wide variety of individuals involved in this maker movement, we could coordinate a great “Maker Day.”  I know there are electricians, plumbers, carpenters, welders, and a wide range of professionals would be glad to participate to get kids interested in their career field.  They may be able to provide resources to help with that special day as well.

maker day tools

Photo from http://innovativelearningcentre.ca/our-space/maker-days/maker-day-events/

maker day image

Photo from http://miamiherald.typepad.com/the-starting-gate/2015/08/miami-mini-maker-faire-now-a-2-day-festival-announces-dates-new-venue.html


Martinez, Sylvia Libow; Stager, Gary S.. Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Kindle). Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

Normal, N. (2015). What Do Coding Apps, Duct Tape Wallets, iPad ‘Bots Have in Common? Makezine. Retrieved from http://makezine.com/2015/06/13/coding-apps-duct-tape-wallets-ipad-bots-common/

Senese, M. (2015). Learning Physics with Hot Wheels at National Maker Faire. Makezine. Retrieved from http://makezine.com/2015/06/13/learning-physics-hot-wheels-national-maker-faire/

Kraft, C. (2015). What Will You Create for the National Day of Making? Makezine. Retrieved from http://makezine.com/2015/06/18/will-create-national-day-making/


2 thoughts on “Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

  1. Hey Gerald,
    You have a lot of excellent ideas, especially having students do as much of the work as possible. This is something high school students should be doing as many of them are responsible and it would give them leadership experience. I didn’t know that you can get marble run kits. I’ll have to look into that. I haven’t heard about Cardboard Automata either. Doesn’t it seem like the possibilities are endless?


    • If I remember correctly I got the marble run kit from an educational toy store. You could probably order one from Amazon. Usually educational toys are great but hard to find. It’s nice to have high school kids have leadership experience.


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