DIY Championship Belts

For this weeks makerspace activity the students and I will be making Championship Belts & Crowns. These were the ideas of the students, so my job was to turn their ideas into reality.

Up first is this super cool championship belt you see below!20170213_101608

This came out better than expected, and my daughter is already dancing around the house with it on. As this is a makerspace activity you can have conversations with your students (or kids) around the following;

Names of Shapes

What it means to be a Champion or Hero

How to make their belt unique

and much more.

Click here for the instructions, and here for a free template, & here for more maker activities!

Supplies for A Makerspace and Kinetic Sculpture

This week for class I had two separate assignments that I really enjoyed working on. The first was preparing a presentation on the two most important tools for a makerspace. The second was to creating a kinetic sculpture.

As part of my thesis I am looking at makerspaces. One of the questions I see many people asking is “what are some tools that make a ‘great’ makerspace”, so I was glad Allison, my professor, asked us to name our choices. So without further ado, here are my two must haves for a good makerspace.

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First Tool: Computer

Why: With access to a computer you can essentially learn how to make, fix, alter almost anything using a search engine. A computer gives you access to various online communities with their own specialties. Within these communities you can learn new ways of making a particular item, you can discuss problems with your item, and collaborate on ways to fix problems with your designs. I would even gor further and specify a Mac computer just because of the extra items such as IMovie and GarageBand, offering additional things I could make.

Second Tool: Dremel with workstation with Attachments

Why: A small Dremel with a workstation and its’ allows turns a simple dremel into a drill press, a flex shaft and a rotary tool. This then allows anyone to drill holes, polish metal objects, sand and grind. One could woodwork, make jewelry, fix household objects and solder just about anything you can think of.

For this weeks ‘make’ project we were tasked to make a Kinetic sculpture. I love mobiles and the beach, so when I was offered a free bag of seashells I knew exactly what i wanted to make. Using my dremel, I drilled holes in the shells, and combined them with beads I already owned. I then wrapped it all with copper and the final result is below. I am thinking of making more, what do you guys think?

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The beginnings of HAPPISPACE

This past week I began piloting my mobile afterschool makerspace for elementary students, HAPPISPACE. For those of you asking, “What is a mobile makerspace?” Its a movable place where children (and adults) can explore, create, tinker and discover using any, and every tool available to them. Mobile makerspaces can be found in your school library, a recreation center, or your local university.

HAPPISPACE is located in a childcare center. This was a strategic choice as many school age children in my neighborhood attend these centers for after school programming, so since they can’t come to the library, university, or museum I decided I would go to them.

For our first session we made Buckminster Fuller shapes. We discussed, and modeled, how the triangles, unlike squares and rectangles, remain stiff under pressure. While making our domes we also had to taste the marshmallows, to ensure they would work, lol. Eventually the students then made their own shapes, thus using their creativity to invent something new! Check out the pictures from this activity below.

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P.S. Next weeks’ activity involves a graffiti wall and walking water, be sure to check back!