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2016-03-20. By Kelly.
Next year we will have a 30 minute enrichment time twice a week throughout the year. I will run a Maker Space class during that time. However, before next year comes around, I will have to set up some quick projects for students to develop experience. Patrick and I talked about it last year and Patrick actually started putting project kits together for my students. But I didn't realize the usefulness of having these projects until now. One student in particular comes to mind. He was very excited about becoming involved in the MakerSpace Club but then he needed some guidance and practice building before he felt comfortable with just exploring.
I will also have the Maker Space class focus on renewable energy. My goal is to help students have more experience with renewable energy so they have something to talk about when it is covered in their 8th grade science class. Students will build wind and water turbines. They will be able to test the efficiency of the turbines by measuring the voltage output. They will then modify their turbines and observe how their modifications impact the voltage. This engineering experience will be a great way to lead into a discussion about what we should consider when choosing renewable energy options and sites. I also intend to have the students use solar cells and fuel cells to run cars that they design. The practical experience of using and creating alternative energy resources will enrich their class discussions and most importantly recruit student interest.
I will have to be much more intentional with the initial projects for the Maker Space class since my enrichment students will come with a variety of building experiences. I have noticed that students that don't have prior building experience tend to also lack confidence and the imagination for creating projects. Therefore, by intentionally providing projects based building experience in the first semester, students will be able to create their own projects and project proposals in the second semester.
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