Author: Angie O'Malley

Angie O'Malley is a STEAM Specialist at Brighton School, a preschool through 8th grade private school in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, United States. Angie began as a technology instructor and worked to develop a comprehensive, integrated STEAM program for elementary and middle school students. Angie helped plan and design the schools new STEAM lab, where she holds weekly classes, before-school programs, and summer camps. Angie received her undergraduate degree from Linfield College and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Seattle Pacific University.

Primary MakerEd Unit Samples

Finding unit ideas in Maker Education for primary grades (ages 5-8) can be challenging. I often find myself coming across one exciting idea for a very specific lesson or project, but I have to find creative ways to better integrate it into a larger unit. I have started creating sample unit posters in hopes of… Read more »

Miniature Golf Course

Recently, I worked with a group of primary students (Kindergarten-2nd grade) to create a miniature golf course. Each student was in charge of creating a hole for the course. The first week, students were each given a large sheet of corrugated plastic, but cardboard would also work well for this. Students mapped out their plans,… Read more »

Classroom Teacher Engagement

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges for me, as a STEAM specialist, has been the keeping making alive when my students leave the lab. I make a very intentional effort to collaborate with teachers, to learn what students are doing in their regular elementary classrooms and integrate this into lessons and projects in the lab…. Read more »

3D Printing with Primary Students

When I started teaching my students about 3D printing, I limited my audience to only students in intermediate and middle school grades. I knew there could be value in also having younger students experience the process, but I wasn’t sure where to start. In my experience, many of the apps that transform 2D drawing to… Read more »

Toy Hacking for Accessibility

One of the most impactful projects my fifth-grade students take part in is a project to hack toys to make them accessible for kids with disabilities. This simple project, that typically costs families upwards of a hundred dollars can be done for under one dollar. The toys, which began as a standard plush toy with… Read more »


Although I choose not to bring it up often, I have a confession to make. You see, when I started considering teaching as a career years ago, my passion was to be a physical education teacher. So, being the goal-orientated person I am, I got my undergrad and graduate degree in physical education. I got… Read more »

Papert’s Perestroika

During the FabLearn Conference at Stanford University this fall, Dr. Edith Ackermann, presented a captivating and inspiring presentation to her audience. In her keynote, she briefed the audience about the Maker Movement, she spoke on the importance and essence of play, and spoke in high regards about the founding members who helped shape and transform… Read more »