For our first Family Fun Night of the year, we had a night of science! I moved the time slightly later in the evening, and changed how we marketed the program, so I had no clue how many people or what ages to expect. But it was great! We had large group, and families with kids ranging from 1 to 10. The best part was watching the parents engage with the kids as they worked through the different activities.
For this Homeschool Hub we focused on game design, both digital and physical. I had a small group this month, and a large number of older teens (!!) and it was fun to see how some of the younger kids gravitated towards app creation and the older ones got out the paper and pencils.
What?-ology is an afterschool program that I have offered as a chance to do a random mash-up of things so I can pick anything I want! We got a 3 month Bitsbox subscription over the summer, so I decided that my first What?-ology of the year would be a great time to do some coding!
We’ve gotten some great new tools at the library, so this month Maker Monday was all about exploring circuits!
First up: Makey Makeys. We have 6 Makey Makeys, and I hooked each up to a laptop and pulled up the piano page. One of these days I’m going to program our Raspberry Pis to boot up automatically to this page and eliminate the need for laptops, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. (story of my life…)
So, it turns out that I am really fabulous at not taking on every new exciting project I get enthusiastic about (other things I excel at: sarcasm), but this one was too good to pass up, and now I get to share it with you!
Making is painting and sewing and hammering and coding and building robots or bridges and stacking blocks and 3d printing and Legos and coloring and origami and video creation. It often includes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and process over product and open-ended questions. Sometimes it uses technology, often it doesn’t. We like collaborative making, where kids work and learn together or at the same table.
This is meant to serve as a resource for anyone interested in maker programs for kids. Take a look, and stay tuned for more awesomeness!
This was our last regular Maker Monday of the year, and we did some serious building. I challenged the kids to build the tallest structure possible out of four materials:
My library system recently got a couple kits with 5 Lego Mindstorm Robots, and I jumped at the chance to do a program for my Maker Monday group. Overall, this was a huge success, although there are definitely a few things I would change next time.