Reflections of a Maker

In my previous post, I discussed my plans to launch a maker club at my school.  In this post, I plan to provide a bit more context.  Each club meets once a week for 45 minutes for seven (7) weeks.  Because this was my first time ever doing this, I wanted to come up with a few project ideas in advance.  Further, I wanted to select projects that would provide a low barrier to entry, as well as one that would incorporate scaffolded skills sets the students could build upon and leverage as they move towards more challenging projects.

As usual, I planned way more than I needed for the first day, as I was not yet familiar with the ability and skill level of the students.  So, I decided on two (2) mini projects, Paper Flashlights, and Artbots.  I “borrowed” the Paper Flashlights project idea from the Digital Harbor Foundation (DHF) and Instructables.  During the Maker Workshop at DHF, one thing we discussed is the simple, but all important act of sharing one’s work. Had DHF and others chose not to share their work, I, as well as my students, wouldn’t be able to benefit and grow from their wonderful resources, so I was reminded by @jonathanprozzi to “pay it forward” through sharing (hence, my post).

Within the first 10 – 15 minutes of the club, I realized we would not complete both projects. My ambition was tempered with a reminder that planning adequate time for project execution is also key.  The students set about the task of making Paper Flashlights using a template.  Here are a few pics from that experience.

During our second session, the students and I crafted Art Bots.  This was done to engage the students in the idea of using technology as a means of self-expression.  For this project, we used recycled yogurt cups, googly eyes, and markers to create the bot.  After securing the battery and wires, we then set about connecting the battery pack to the cup. Next time, I might just go with the suggestion of DHF and use electric toothbrushes from the Dollar Store.  This would have made the motor assembly much easier.  If you’re looking for additional inspiration along these lines, The Tinkering Studio has a similar project posted titled, “Scribbling Machines“.

In short, the boys seemed to enjoy the project.  I’m interested in where this will go next…

til next time,
– theberknologist

Creative Commons LicenseThe Berknologist Speaks by Dawn Berkeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at



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