After a long summer of planning, ordering, organizing and designing, the Blair Makerspace had its official grand opening last week! Classes were invited to come to the space to learn about the purpose and vision for the space, as well as begin to explore and create with some of the materials purchased with funding from the WEF Grant and a Donors Choose grant. The information below explains the Makerspace learning space, details the learning process that students experience in the Makerspace, and illustrates how the bi-weekly design challenges work.
The Learning Space
The Makerspace is housed on the stage at Blair. Take a look at the pictures below for a tour of the learning environment!
The Engineering Design Loop
When scholars visit the Makerspace, they will think like an engineer by following the five steps of the Engineering Design Loop:
1. Ask: What is the problem? What will I design or create today
2. Imagine: Brainstorm solutions or design ideas.
3. Plan: What materials will you need? What design steps will you follow?
4. Create: Time to build!
5. Improve: How could the process or product of the design be improved?
Scholars scan a QR code that provides them with a link to a Book Creator template that organizes this process for them and allows them to easily plan their projects in the Makerspace.
Every other week, scholars will be introduced to new materials for designing and exploration in the Makerspace. While creating their own design is always an option, there are times when some scholars may have difficulty coming up with their own design plan; this is where the design challenges come in. Scholars will have the opportunity to scan a QR code that will link them to a video (in English or Spanish) explaining the design challenge, which is meant to inspire an idea or provide a specific challenge for the scholar to complete. If the scholar decides to pursue the design challenge, there is a corresponding Book Creator template that scholars can download to help them organize their thinking and planning to complete the challenge.