. Making is fundamental to the human spirit. It's something humans have done for thousands of years, and without that spirit, we don't have things as fundamental as fire, the lightbulb, cars, computers, and other countless inventions that have changed how humans interact with the world around them. The issue is that for centuries, this was something that was only taught on the fringes of school even though it's been proven time and time again that a making experience brings about more in-depth learning. We need to make making part of every kid's learning experience, and hopefully, these resources will help!
Many schools are bringing making into a specific space such as a maker space, but the real challenge is bringing making into your core content classes. Core content classes are the place where making can make a difference because they give kids a more in-depth learning experience in that content and because it's where most kids spend the majority of their time. Basically, if they can build or make something in that content, they are much more likely to remember it.
It can be tough though to come up with ways to include making. What kinds of projects can you do? Where do you get ideas from? The five resources below all have tons of projects you can do. You may need to come up with some scenario to adapt them to your content, but usually, that means coming up with a final audience or group that will use whatever they make. You need to be creative to do that! For example, if I were teaching the industrial revolution, I would have kids make a commercial for one of the new products that came out of the era. The audience would be those that they were getting to purchase it. You could also do things like novel engineering where they design something that would aid a literary character on their journey. It's all about creativity.
Now on to the places to find projects
1. Instructables: Instructables is a great place to start! This is a site run by our friends at AutoDesk that's mission is to give you directions on how to make anything. There are projects ranging from cooking, construction, sewing, electronics, to just basic small maker activities. You will have to adapt them to fit your standards, but it only takes that right creative scenario.
2. Makezine: Makezine is the resource site of the organization that puts on MakerFaire's across the United States. It has a bunch of project ideas, but it is not as fully formed as Instructables is. What it does have though is a connection to the community. You can both connect to other makers and find events near you. The number of things that are included in the maker movement is unbelievable, and this site will give you incredible insight into them.
3. Maker Ed: Maker ed is a non-profit organization whose entire goal is to bring Maker Education to kids. The key to this one is that it is geared toward education. There are some great project ideas and resources to choose from here although the amount of project ideas is not as in-depth as other sites. What is helpful though is that it contains ideas about the things that go along with making such as redesigning spaces. It also has an educator community that you can be part of
4. Novel Engineering: I used to work with on maker activities with a former elementary school librarian, and this site was a favorite of hers. The idea is that you take a novel, and you build a project that solves some issue for the characters in the story. Think of something like building shelters for a survival story. It gives you a basis to input making into the curriculum, and this site helps you get there.
5. Pinterest: Pinterest is the ultimate DIY site on the internet. It has thousands of ideas and projects, and it even has plenty of education-oriented maker projects. It's all just a matter of getting the right search term. Try searching making to start!
Coding can be a great way to make! If you're interested in learning more, click HERE.
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