Last Week in Making: Sept 8 to Sept 11

In this new feature, we will give a quick summary of the different Making projects happening each week throughout the school.  We will also spotlight specific projects in more detail in other posts.  Read on to learn about all the ways our teachers are integrating Making into our classrooms!

IMG_4817The kindergarteners continued a woodworking unit during their Making time on Friday.  They started with filing, sanding, and hammering nails two weeks ago; last week they began to learn sawing.  Eventually they will get to build a wooden toy for one of their classmates.  We want to give a big thanks to Economy Lumber for donating scrap wood for the class to use!

First grade incorporated sewing into their unit on Community, Culture, and Traditions.  They have started with making a square for a class quilt, and if time permits will move on to sewing a soft toy that represents something from their culture.

Second grade started to learn basic programming by exploring with our set of Pro-Bot cars.  They are learning to pre-program the cars to drive in different shapes, and to record their programs so that they’re fellow students can use the program they’ve come up with.

IMG_20150910_131401197Third grade is learning about electricity using circuit blocks; these are student-made blocks with batteries, lightbulbs, motors, buzzers, and switches.  Students use alligator clips to connect the blocks, and learn about basic circuitry in the process.

Fourth grade will be using minimum days for “genius hour”, and Making will be one of their options all year.  They are starting with sewing, and later will get to use their sewing and woodworking skills re-make a mechanical toy.  This week, they were introduced to the project, and started to create their designs for their first soft toy.

Seventh and Eight grade both have trimester-long Making and Programming enrichment courses this year.  So far, the Making class has made journals, iPhone amplifiers, duct-tape art, and last week they started making cardboard tiles inspired by this exhibit at the Exploratorium.

Programming also started by making class journals to record their work, and have made scribbler machines and started to learn Scratch.  Last week they started exploring how to use Scratch to program a robot that they will share in a Robot Petting Zoo for the elementary school, and at Lighthouse’s annual fundraising gala to help support the ongoing work of the school.

IMG_20150911_153732046The high school Making class started remaking a chair design and then building it; as of last week they are taking a break from that project to create a giant marble maze, which will be showcased at the annual gala along with 7th and 8th grades’ robots.

Robotics is another offering at our high school, and they are working on making and programming a robot that can follow a line using a color sensor.  They are documenting and sharing their code via an online classroom; we’ll definitely be sharing some examples of their work as the year progresses!

About Cissy Monroe

Cissy has been a Maker long before the term came into popular usage. She is a seamstress, origami and papercrafts enthusiast, and occasionally has the patience for knitting, crochet, and woodworking. For the past 5 years, she has worked as a cook — most recently at a public school in Sonoma County that provides organic, made-from-scratch breakfasts and lunches for their students.

She returned to college a year ago to complete a degree in Environmental Studies, and from there plans to pursue a teaching credential for high school biology. She joined the Creativity Lab staff through the AmeriCorps VISTA program this August. Her position as the Curriculum and Documentation Coordinator at Lighthouse will allow her explore new (to her) aspects of Making, while also supporting teachers to integrate Making into their curricula. She looks forward to sharing their projects with you here.