Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Maker Mondays Coming in 2019

This year's seventh graders were the first group to participate in a STEAM program that began in the fall of 2016 and has turned into one of the highlights of fifth grade. The program - Making and Tinkering in the Bitterroot - features visits from Nick Wethington, a making and tinkering wizard from spectrUM Discovery Area in Missoula. Until now, the program has been limited to fifth graders. But beginning in January, seventh graders will have a chance to revisit the ozobots, squishy circuits, and other great design activities that they experienced as fifth graders.

Beginning mid-January, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders can sign up for Maker activities in the library during advisory, lunch, and recess. Because eighth graders are eligible to participate, they will finally get a chance to do some activities that were not available to them three years ago.

The idea for providing some making and tinkering time came from watching some seventh graders trying out an activity using strawbees. With strawbees, designers use plastic connectors and straws to make bridges, towers, ferris wheels, clothing patterns, and more. 

The tools are simple, but the possibilities are endless. Here is what a few seventh graders did in just half an hour or so:

Maker days in the library will begin in mid January with a Strawbees building spree and continue every other week until spring break.