By Ann Hazely, Saddle Brook MS/HS Media Specialist
In October I held my first MakerSpace event, using a MakerKit borrowed from BELS. We had five stations (Squishy Circuits, Circuit Scribe, 3Doodler, Makey-Makey and Little Bits) for which students could sign up over the course of three lunch sessions. I introduced our MakerSpace Friday event as a place to tinker, create, collaborate, invent, and design. Two of the Saddle Brook public librarians were on hand to walk around and facilitate work at the stations and two students who were familiar with some of the kits were also available to help.
The students were quick to jump in and figure out how each kit/activity works and overall, it was a very successful event. The kids were actively engaged, community members were brought in, and the Principal and Vice-Principal came to the event. Due to the success and enthusiastic reception of our Maker initiative, I created my own MakerSpace club.
The MakerSpace club recently started in January and we meet during lunch. The students who attend are 7th and 8th graders and there’s about 15 students total in the club. We meet on Tuesdays and Fridays. We are currently using the AnimaKit borrowed from BELS.
The students have downloaded Virtual Reality (VR) apps to their cell phones and are looking at underwater adventures and roller coasters using the three VR viewers in the MakerKit. Be sure to download the free apps for a variety of VR adventures.
Students are also actively engaged in the HUE animation stop motion software working with Legos from the StoryMaker kit. They have created a battle scene with the Legos and are using the animation software for movement. The software must first be uploaded to a laptop (I used the disc) and you must switch from your regular camera (if your computer has one) to the HUE camera. The software itself is relatively easy to use, after playing around with it for a bit. The students really took over the program and are busy creating scenes and settings. Check back later to see their finished product when its ready.
Our next project involves creating speakers for a phone using paper towel rolls and paper cups.