Toy Making: Part 2

(This post is Part 2 in a series. Part 1.) From making their balancing crayfish, students learned that adding weight to an object makes it more stable, particularly when the weight is distributed more towards the bottom than the top. Having learned this, they moved on to making tops. Building a Top Students began by trying…

Toy Making: Part 1

For several weeks, our first graders have been exploring concepts like “balance” and “spinning” by building toys. Their making combined experimentation, observation, engineering design, and design thinking. And it went something like this: Building a Balancing Crayfish Calling it a “crayfish” is sorta killing me, being from Louisiana (down there, it’s a “crawfish”), but I guess out here…

Countdown to Maker Faire: 10 Days

Maker Faire prep is coming along. While the Creativity Lab staff is hard at work getting t-shirts ordered and schedules planned (and more—trust me, there’s quite a bit of work involved), students are working to get their projects wrapped up. I’m dedicating the next few weeks to previewing some of the projects that students will be showing…

Making Hands

We are all focused on getting ready for Maker Faire right now, which has kept me busy and gotten me behind on this post. Next week I’ll begin posting previews of students’ projects for Maker Faire, but, while it’s still fresh, I thought I’d share a making project that our middle school students just finished in their making elective, since…

Embracing Failure Through Bridge Building

Primary school students in the Creativity Lab are learning what engineering bridges is all about.  From kindergarten to 4th grade, kids are taking on the role of civil engineering.  They’ve looked at models, they’ve compared and discussed designs, and now, they’re using different building materials to span vast distances.  Grade by grade, they have been…