Maker{Move}’s First Outing

Posted on Sunday, March 29th, 2020 in News

Just before the schools closed the Maker{Move} team managed its first mobile makerspace outing to Northfield Junior School in Dronfield, Derbyshire. The team arrived in the new bespoke van, loaded up with everything needed to set up a large makerspace in the school hall.

Cleverly designed mobile pods are loaded with maker activities and challenges designed to engage children in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths). The pods open out to create worktops and activity zones that can be altered to fit the needs of the setting and the ages of children taking part.

Around 170 children took part in the day. Children came in groups of up to 60 for a 75 minute experience in the makerspace. With fourteen activity stations to navigate, children could choose to interact with a range of high tech, digital and low tech tools and challenges.

One of the favourite stations was the Build-a-Bike pod, where children could have a go at building a balance bike. They had to figure out which parts went where and how to connect the pieces together. They could customise their design with different coloured parts and a variety of wheel sizes before testing out their bikes at the side of the hall. Teachers commented on the high levels of teamwork and problem solving between the children.

The Virtual Reality pod drew a large crowd, with one child commenting:

“The VR is amazing, it is like being trapped inside a box of awesomeness!”.

 

 

 

As well as high tech activities, children experienced a range of lower tech activities and challenges, including woodwork, den building, and a reverse engineering scavenger hunt. Children were encouraged to ‘create like a maker’ using the Maker{Cycle}, a process where children look for problems and challenges, think how they can make improvements, make a model and test their ideas. This approach is an important skill for innovation, a skill which will be important to many future jobs.

Teachers were encouraged to learn alongside children and to have a go. Part of the aim of the Maker{Move} mobile makerspace is to show teachers why maker education is important and get them thinking how they could start to bring more making into their schools. To help get them started, we left Northfield with a Maker{Kit} full of tools and resources.. Headteacher Mrs Timperly described the day as “…one of the best ever” and was amazed to see the sustained levels of positive engagement by the children.

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