I’ve been working with some visionary educators at our Lower School for several months on repurposing our current computer lab into a makerspace. Fortunately, our head of school is on board and the principal is so supportive that she set aside two hours of today’s professional development for a combo team-building and makered event.
After an intro from the principal and our head of school, we started with a recap from science teachers who attended Constructing Modern Knowledge this past summer. This was a great way to set the tone and focus on Seymour Papert’s concept of Hard Fun. Then teachers were able to self-select groups from a list of options:
- Jeanious – Facilitated by our art faculty, teachers reimagined denim and designed new creations.
- Scribblebots - Facilitated by a science teacher, teachers figured out how to create robots that draw.
- Curious George Hot Air Balloon Challenge – Faciliated by a science teacher, teams figured out how to create a hot air balloon that could stay in the air for more than 10 seconds
- Bridge Building Challenge – Working with the principal (and enjoying a rare sunny afternoon outside), teachers created a bridge from simple materials and tested the amount of weight it could bear.
- Makey Making – Facilitated by the Lower School tech coordinator, faculty explored the potential of Makey Makey as a tool to use familiar objects in new ways, turning them into keyboards and controllers.
These were two of the best hours of professional development I’ve had the privilege of witnessing. I’m truly impressed by the creativity and dedication of this group of educators and am truly fortunate both to count them as my colleagues and that my daughters have had the privilege of being fostered by their efforts!