Expanding Possibility: the Transformative Nature of Scribble Machines

The Creativity Lab at Lighthouse Winter Expo by Jessica Gray SchippWednesday, December 18 was not only my birthday, but also the Lighthouse Community Charter School Winter Expo.  Parents are required to attend three events each school year and the Winter Expo is one of them.

My mind goes to the single parent, exhausted from a 12-hour workday, having then to trek across Bay Area rush hour traffic – our kids commute from all over Oakland just to get here.  And it goes to the teachers, staying well over 12 hours on these days, on top of the enormous stress of preparing for the Expo.  Creating displays, activities to engage the families, and frantically trying to pull it together, all while worrying about the kid whose parents won’t show up- it’s no easy feat.

I watched as the tired faces of the parents turned soft and warm the moment they experienced the wonder of making a scribble machine.  The spectacular excitement alone exuding from their child, was enough to force a smile for most.

Lighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray SchippLighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray SchippLighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray Schipp

For the teachers it’s a work night, yet it is one that warms the heart several times throughout the evening, making it worth the extra energy.  Teaching has been described as the second most private act in which adults engage (Dufour, 1991).  It is important to see the reach of our impact every once in a while.   The Expo nights at Lighthouse feed not only the teachers, but the students and parents as well.  Parents are able to catch a glimpse of how critical and inspiring our teachers are, not to mention the relief they get knowing their child is in good hands, simultaneously reducing the inevitable guilt of parenthood brought on by constraints of time and space.

Scribble Machines 

A recipe for connection, engagement, and the kick of curiosity.

  • four markers,
  • a piece of a glue stick (about an inch long),
  • a cherry tomato container,
  • a little tape (any kind will do),
  • a motor, and
  • a battery wrapped in a rubber band

Mix the supplies thoroughly and unleash on any paper covered (or it doesn’t matter if it stains or not) surface.

Lighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray Schipp

Scribble Machine

Lighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray Schipp

Scribble Machine Station

Lighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray Schipp

Making Scribble Machines

At Lighthouse every December and June, Expo is a chance for 720ish students to display their work to the entire school (K-12), to family, and to the outside community.

A lighthouse serves to guide ships to safety when it is dark or foggy.

Lighthouse is a community of people working together to guide students to the safety and security of getting an excellent education.

– LCCS Student/Family Handbook

Expo is one of the special ways we guide our kids at Lighthouse.  The collaborative nature of bringing together accomplishments, artifacts, students, parents, and teachers provides a breeding ground for rapid growth and possibility.

It is only after we make our first scribble machine that we can truly imagine the possibilities that lay ahead.

The Scribble Machine Reinvented Lighthouse Creativity Lab By Jessica Gray Schipp

The Scribble Machine Reinvented

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About Jessica Gray Schipp

An obsessive documenter, by nature.