Category: 2016 Fellows

Snow – A Great Maker Material

We’ve all done that classic maker activity at one time or another: the paper cut out snowflake. Most makers would agree that paper is one of our most basic, essential materials. For me, many of my earliest “Making Memories” are from time spent playing out in the snow! Therefore I would like to suggest that… Read more »

Trendy, Educational, or Creative? Solve the robotics kit dilemma!

In 2015 an association of local businesses asked me and some colleagues to organize a robotics after school lab for five different first-grade classes in the Bologna area. Our committee had seen the milkBot, a little robot that combines the  open-source Arduino microcontroller with scrap material, and they wanted to offer a similar creative experience… Read more »

My maker identity. A maker educator manifesto?

I am not a maker. I am a maker. I am not a maker. I am a maker. I fear making. I feared making. I fear making new things. I feared making new things until I made them. I wasn’t good at making things when I was a kid. I didn’t know that what I… Read more »

In Depth Project: Animatronics

Materials: 2-speed 12VDC Windshield wiper motors, PVC pipe, bubble wrap/foam pool noodles, various connectors/motor arms, various hand and power tools, props and costumes, iPad or mini projector This unit was designed to explore the possibilities of how far into the world of animatronics students could go in our makerspace. Animatronics is a unique and mostly… Read more »

Teaching SolidWorks to Young Children

SolidWorks is a CAD program, stated to be the world’s most popular, used widely in the manufacturing industry, and it’s a program I teach to Kindergarteners. You might be wondering, Why teach SolidWorks to young children at all when free programs such as Tinkercad exist? Well, initially I had a very specific purpose for teaching… Read more »

Fostering creativity in classrooms

During the past years I’ve been deeply interested in creativity. In this post I’ll try to condense some strategies aimed to stimulate children’s creative expression in the classroom that I’ve tested in my physical programming classes, and analyzed during my master’s research. Most of the strategies presented here are not based merely on personal insights,… Read more »

Rube Goldberg, YouTube, and the Archimedes Screw: Hidden Drivers of Pedagogic Transactions

In Edith Ackerman’s paper “Hidden Drivers of Pedagogic Transactions: Teachers as Clinicians and Designers,” she shows that as teachers take on the role of clinicians (facilitating communication around a problem) and designers (imagining and creating a safe learning environment for exploration and negotiation of old and new thoughts), a pedagogic transaction takes place between the… Read more »

FabLearn webinar with guest Tony Perry of the Lehmlson-MIT Invention Education program

We are pleased to share a recent webinar with guest Tony Perry, Invention Education Coordinator at the Lemelson-MIT Program that celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Tony shared the goals of the program and current opportunities for young people in their Invention contests and programs. Justin Brown,… Read more »

Circuit stickers: electronic circuits made of copper tape

Circuit stickers are electronic circuits made of copper tape cut with a vinyl cutter. It’s a very easy and extremely cheap way to create your own circuits. In this blog post you will find the information on how to use this technique. Idea The idea to build circuits made with copper tape is not a… Read more »

How fablab in Copernicus Science Centre works?

One of my duties in Copernicus Science Centre (Warsaw, Poland) is to develop and maintain our in-house fablab. A lot of people ask me how to start a makerspace in school, classroom or somewhere else. There are tons of great guides, articles, how-tos you can find on the web. Here are some good resources which… Read more »