One of the latest crazes to hit is the Maker Faire. What is a Maker Faire you ask?
Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned. (Maker Faire)
On a whim when we were planning for our back to school meetings, we decided to have a mini maker faire. I took the idea and ran with it. Now it seems to become a road show. The maker faire road trip is a bit more about learning new ideas than a traditional maker faire with makers showcasing their work. It has made its appearance at two trainings in the last week. What is included in my mini maker faire? I have between 5-6 stations depending on the space. Presently, I have the following stations:
1. Coding: Creating a flappy bird game
2. Creating a Hovercraft
3. Building a 60 cup structure
4. Games (board games, dice games, logic)
5. Green screening with WeVideo
6. Circuits with Snap circuits and Roominate
From my vantage point, the maker faire was an engaging time for the participants to Collaborate, Communicate, Create, and Think Critically. The 4Cs were embedded throughout the faire. Here is a flappy bird game created by Nikki, one of our Technology and Learning Coaches (TLC). Emily, another TLC said, “I loved the circuit building activity! I was avoiding it at first because it seemed a little scary the idea of building a “circuit,” but the activity showed that I could learn something new and construct my own knowledge through collaboration with other team members and access to a direction book. My colleagues were my co-learners in creating something new”
What has this Maker Faire shown me? It’s demonstrated to me that the hands on activities are a way to get everyone involved in the learning. The learning is more than the standards and we need to teach critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity in our classrooms at EVERY level, not just elementary because they have learning stations/labs. It also brings a lot of questions to mind. How can we turn our classrooms in to maker faires? How do we model this learning for teachers to begin to have this mindset?