I am not planning on starting a Maker Club at my school this coming year. I just don’t think it is something I am ready to take on as a second year teacher. However, I am planning on having a Mini Maker Club for my class of first graders and expanding from there. With this in mind, I would love to have an open house for parents to come in and experience our maker space with their child. Even doing a “Maker Day” on this small level would take a lot of work and coordination. Regardless of the size, I agree with Martinez and Stager (2013) as they wrote, “A Maker Day is not the same as a science fair. There is often too much ‘show and tell’ or competition at a science fair. A Maker Day is about creativity and collaboration. It celebrates individual ingenuity within the context of the creative culture of shared values.” I realize that the different between a Maker Day and a Science Fair, but I think the planning of them are somewhat the same. So, I am going to chat with our Science Fair coordinator and get ideas and suggestions from her before having my classroom Maker Day.
I have experience putting together one parent night, which equals almost no experience at all. I know I am going to struggle with pulling together something as complex as a Maker Day. However, I found a great checklist for planning a Maker Day that will help me consider which supplies I will want to include, recruiting volunteers, finding an appropriate space, and planning a schedule (Industry Training Authority British Columbia, n.d.). Being a new to running a club, there are things that I need to consider that I may not think of on my own, which is why having a checklist is key.
Two of the most important things that I will need are supplies and activities for the Maker Day. People will need to be able to build something and I need have items available for them. I found a webpage for Farmhamville Elementary School in Iowa that had a list of ideas that I could use for my own Maker Day. They had their Maker Day event to kick off their Maker Space for their school. Some of the ideas they had that I would like to use in my classroom are paper circuits, build your own musical instrument, 3-D design, straw building challenge, cardboard maze/tunnel, and the marble run. The school’s website also has pictures of the Maker Day, videos, and a supply list (Southeast Valley Schools, n.d.). I could also add a pottery station, since our school has a kiln and I know how to use it. I should have between twenty-two and twenty-seven students in my classroom, so I think that having five to six making stations should be enough. I feel like this week has given me enough information and a good handle on what I will need to have a classroom Maker Day.
Industry Training Authority British Columbia. (n.d.). Maker Day 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2015, from Industry Training Authority British Columbia: http://www.itabc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/discover/Final%20MakerDayToolKit.pdf
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
Southeast Valley Schools. (n.d.). PV Elementary Maker Day. Retrieved July 16, 2015, from Southeast Valley Schools: http://www.southeastvalley.org/vnews/display.v/ART/54f0b5ae0f4d7