By Kris Levey, STAO Elementary Committee.
Maker Spaces in the classroom are very popular right now in elementary classrooms along with Genius Hour. Maker Spaces provide students with opportunities to learn and create in a do-it-yourself fashion. The Genius Hour models off Google’s employee policy that gives employees time to explore personal interests. Check out these links for creating maker spaces or starting your own genius hour in the classroom.
A great resource for ideas on what kids can do in the maker space can be found in the Art of Tinkering, also their companion website. One activity in particular involves making scribbling machines. Using relatively easy-to-acquire materials, students can design their own robot that draws and scribbles on chart paper. The flexibility of this activity makes it great for all ages and gives students a great opportunity to explore the process of experimentation and changing variables.