To get a maker showcase up and running, we exchange many mails, get all the logistics ready, make sure all the maker kits are running well, pack, prepare two hours early to make sure we make it in time to train some new staff members, get everything out and …
One more maker showcase is ON.
It’s surely a hectic routine, the one of our mobile makerspace, but highly reassuring. We have delivered at least ten maker showcases in partner schools over the last three months, and it’s safe to say that the buzz starts the minute we arrive. All we see is the audience:
- Experimenting coding in a very nonthreatening environment with Kano
- Using the ultimate invention toolbox Littlebits
- Trying to add new concepts to DIY circuits with Big Bits
- Doing some art work with Spinning art
- Playing around with MakeyMakeys
- Learning English words with Osmos
- Reasoning to build Snap Circuits
During our showcases, wherever we look, we see people moving happily around, going from work station to work station experimenting the thrill of making something for themselves. People overcome their frustration and celebrate making. It’s just beautiful to watch the excitement and engagement and hear questions like: Are you guys going to come back tomorrow? When are you guys coming back? Where can I go for more of these activities?
Last week, a parent asked me a very interesting question as I was helping his kid add a dimmer to the circuit she had just finished. “You are with an English school, right? So, what does English teaching have to do with things like coding, 3D printing, circuitry, and electronics?” I can think of at least three very good reasons for an American Space to have maker showcases. Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with open-source learning, contemporary design, and powerful personal technology, which are great concepts to teach at any school. The interactive component of maker activities are worth pointing out, too. By participating in a broad range of activities with others, participants appropriate (internalize or take for themselves) the outcomes produced by working together; These outcomes could include both new strategies and knowledge.
Another advantage of having maker showcases and letting people experience making is the fact that there is a mentor in each station to foster learning. The activities are drop-in, but participants might be guided by the mentor who does not provide answers or a manual, but asks discovery questions and leads participants to “a-ha” moments instead. Vygotsky’s concept of the Zone of Proximal Development – the area where a person can solve a problem with the help of a more able peer – can be easily noticed as kids work together to overcome challenges. Hosting numerous maker showcases around town stirs the imagination of people numbed by generic, mass-produced merchandise and invites participants to engage with activities that sparkle genuine curiosity as to the English language.
GRAFFITart + Maker Showcase @ CTJ-FAN - https://goo.gl/IlYDge
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Galois Infantil Águas Claras – https://goo.gl/HwrP7n
Mobile Maker Showcase @ CIMAN – https://goo.gl/cfi7m2
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Festival Literário do Colégio Santo Antônio – https://goo.gl/Y3i3PH
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Feira de Tecnologia do Colégio Cor Jesu – https://goo.gl/3snPwT
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Leonardo Da Vinci Asa Norte – https://goo.gl/cqiZox
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Sigma Águas Claras – https://goo.gl/KhsgVr
Mobile Maker Showcase @ Sigma Águas Claras – https://goo.gl/RyxCmR