Monthly Archives

outubro 2014

Build a Maker Mindset with Makey Makey

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MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. With the kits, we can turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s a simple tool for beginners and experts to have loads of fun and begin experimenting. What about making music with bananas? What about conducting electricity with your hands? Jay Silver, MIT PhD and the co-inventor of Makey Makey, shows us how to hack everyday objects and have students practice curiosity and invention. Read more about Jay’s approach to education:…

We heard about Makey Makey and decided to use this amazing tool in one of our funshops.  The idea was to arise students’ curiosity, start building a maker mindset, and let people know we will have Makey Makey kits available for them to explore with  in school. We bought three kits, and we  got lots of help from Brasilia Fab Lab to get this funshop going for the first time. We share here everything we learned so that you too can run this amazing session in your institution and get the Maker Movement started.

We had tables set up in our common area, and any student could just hang out with us and play around with the Makey Makey kits. We had the funshop in the week before halloween, so we decorated the tables and used punkins as drum sets.

What you will need:

A table and a laptop computer for each Makey Makey kit.

We chose to work on the piano keyboard, and the drum sets, but there are many other options you could choose from right here.We downloaded the software beforehand so that we would not need to rely on wi-fi connection during the workshop.

Teachers to interact with the kids in English and show them how much fun Makey Makey is!

Practice a little with the kits before to get familiar, and be ready to tell participants how come the vegetables produce sound!

Students were VERY curious, and eager to learn more, which is a great way to get started with the Maker Movement, and engage students in different activities that start happening in different parts of school.



Get the maker Movement Started with Kids

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Bubble week is an event to get the Maker Movement started in your school or institution.

We  heard of this activitity in Manual do mundo, and we decided to divide the workshop in two sessions.

Students were invited to freely play with the bubbles using the toys and they got a flyer telling them what to bring for the second meeting. We had the activity in an open, common area in school where all students could easily see and interact. Monitors and school staff were ready to interact with the children in English. One of the monitors was handing out flyers and talking to kids and parents.

For the first meeting we prepared:


Bubble machine

A cut in half tire of plastic pool large enough to fit a hoop inside



For the second meeting,  we recorded a tutorial in which a teacher explains the science behind the mixture.

We had 4 stations

1 – One mentor helps kids do the bubble machine – You might have a handyman among your staff eager to help.

2- One mentor teaches the kids how to make he toys

3- One mentor helps the kids make the mixture and shows the questions

4- The librarian has the tutorial and shows it to students – he/she might record students’ summarizing the pieces of information to post on the school’s website.

bubble questions5 bubble questions3 bubble questions2 bubble questions1

Tips to help you get organized

Deliver each phase twice so that you reach Mondays/wednesdays and Tuesdays/Thursdays groups

Schedule the event for a time when you have lots of students waiting for class, or waiting for their parents

Make sure you choose a place where the floor is NOT SLIPPERY

For phase two, have 4 staff members involved

Have fun, and let us know if you need any help.


Movimento maker e a educação básica

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Em uma palestra, o brasileiro Paulo Blinkstein, que trabalha na universidade de Stanford,  fala sobre inovação e do que pensa do sistema educacional no Brasil.  Ele respondeu algumas perguntas depois da palestra que são relevantes para educadores interessados em mudar um pouco a maneira de ensinar, e fazer as ideias de educadores como Paulo Freire e Piaget mais presentes em suas salas de aula. O professor conta como acha importante que a escola seja motivadora e de como considera um clichê a fala de que a escola precisa preparar para o vestibular. Ele sugere que 20% do tempo das crianças na escola seja usado para incentivar a inovação e a criatividade e do impacto que isso teria na educação brasileira. Segundo o professor, a velocidade das coisas é tão grande que o Brasil precisa investir tanto na educação básica quanto na educação mais inovadora para não ficar muito mais atrasado ainda se comparados a outros países. Ouça o que o professor tem a dizer nessa breve entrevista abaixo.

Qual o diagnostico do Brasil em relação a inovação na educação?

Qual a necessidade de banda larga nas escolas?

Como aproximar temas de tecnologia e inovação da educação básica de jovens menos favorecidos?

Se o Brasil tem tantos problemas básicos, por que investir em inovação na educação?



Sharpen Presentational Skills

By | 21st Century Skills, English, Sem categoria | No Comments



Nowadays, information is everywhere, and learning is also a click away. With enormous amount of possibilities within anyone’s range, it’s high time  libraries redifined their roles and became lively, interesting, and colllaborative learning spaces. The public that comes to a resource center might be looking for an opportunity to learn different skills and socialize. In English schools, students come to have an experience; they come to learn how to communicate for fun, and for business. Modern libraries within English schools might offer students the chance to boost their digital skills, and offer them the chance to become competent users of the target language in different settings. If you are interested in running a workshop at your institution that aims at sharpening your audience’s presentation skill, this post might come in handy.

What we give you:

Lesson plan - varied multi media plan to wow your participants. Students will watch a catchy video on how to present like Steve Jobs, dive into interesting resources that will trigger lots of interaction, and plan their own presentatiopn using the tips explored throughout the lesson. Teachers guide

What you’ll need:

Invite your students via social media, posters, and formal invitation in their classrooms

Choose a time that you believe students will be able to come (before or after class)

A teacher to deliver the session

English speaking librarians to interact with participants

Ipads, computers, or participants own devices to connect to the web



The Marshmallow Challenge

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Casa Thomas Jefferson will offer an amazing makerspace to the community in our Asa Norte branch, and we will also offer students opportunities to participate in maker activities in all our branches. We are deeply commited to sharing with the teaching community in general our workshops, ideas, and easy step by step procedures.  That`s why everything will be posted online so that you too can start the maker movement in your own institution.


The Marshmallow Challenge

How to get organized: We learned about The Marshmallow Challenge from watching this TED Talk. In groups of four, students are given 18 minutes to build the tallest structure possible using 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, 1 yard of string, and a marshmallow. They do not need to use all the materials, but the structure needs to hold the entire marshmallow on top.

  • Think of the best time to hold the challenge in your school (when there are students around waiting for class, or waiting for their rides).
  • You’ll need  a teacher to deliver the instructions, and the staff at the library to interact with students in English.
  • Decide on the best place to hold the event.
  • Prepare posters to display around school prior the event and/or send e-mails to the families letting them know about the event.
  • Decide how many sessions you will have.
  • Check how many kits you’ll need.
  • Prepare the kits

We tested with a very creative group of teachers  and they did pretty well!


By doing this simple task, groups learn how to communicate, collaborate, and each individual might draw some conclusions about how he/she reacted to the challenge. This activity could be used also in the beginning of a term, or any time you need students to realize how important it is to work in groups to achieve learning goals. Feel free to ask us for help, we will be glad to share our experience with you to help you get started.