Friday, June 10, 2016

Maker Club End of Year Highlights

It is always bittersweet to reach the end of the school year.  It was especially hard to host the last session of Maker Club on June 9th, 2016.  The students have been working diligently on a variety of interesting projects.  Here are some highlights from the last few months of Maker Club:

1. We received a visit from Michael, a college engineering student from Rochester.  Michael talked to Maker Club students about his interests in science and robotics.  This visit was very inspiring, as many Maker Club students were eager to begin their own robotics projects after meeting Michael!

2. Students experimented with the LittleBits circuit kits.  It was fun learning how to build with the circuits.  A fifth grade student used LittleBits to power a Minecraft-inspired creation!

LittleBits powered a Minecraft creation.

The sword moves back and forth!

3. We were able to spend time working with the Hummingbird robotics kit.  It took some teamwork to get the circuit board assembled.  It was interesting to learn what all of the attachments could do.  The next step was learning the coding software.  Students used parts of our Lego kits in order to create a conveyor belt-type device.  The belt moved through the power of computer coding!

Students worked together to assemble the Hummingbird.

Learning how to code.

The finished product!

4. Students worked on a variety of creative craft projects during the spring Maker Club meetings.  The pictures below depict just a few examples of some of the excellent projects.

Lego builds are a staple of Maker Club!

"Teddy Bear Lane" - made with recycled materials.

A bird made out of modeling clay.

5. We had a visit from Alex Fernandez, an employee of Yahoo!  Mr. Fernandez shared some interesting projects with the group.  He brought a 3D printer, gave students projects on Tinkercad, and introduced students to an augmented reality book and virtual reality goggles.  Some students said that this was the most fun they have had in school EVER!

Mr. Fernandez had an excited audience of Maker Club students.

Accessing augmented reality content via books and iPads.

A group trying the Tinkercad challenge.

Another group tries their hand at Tinkercad.

Trying out the virtual reality goggles.

6. Mr. LoBianco has been working hard to get MinecraftEDU up and running here at Pioneer Middle.  For the last two sessions of Maker Club, Mr. LoBianco has offered MinecraftEDU as an activity choice.  Within the MinecraftEDU world, Mr. LoBianco gave students challenges which involved skill, strategy, and teamwork.  It was a big hit with the group!

Mr. LoBianco introduces students to MinecraftEDU.

Students needed to work together to succeed on the challenges.

Maker Club students enjoyed MinecraftEDU.

7. Many students who participated in Lego League now attend Maker Club.  These students have used some of their Maker Club time to continue building and coding with the EV3 Mindstorms resources.  They have completed some epic builds!

Working on "Iron Waffles," the robot.

A great build using the Mindstorms kit!

8. During the last day of Maker Club, my own mother, Laurie Muhlbauer, came to visit!  My mother is an accomplished crafter.  When it comes to weaving and spinning, there is nothing she can't handle.  She visited our club to show students how to complete their very own weaving projects.  The supplies for these projects were secured by Mrs. Okiec through the Needle Arts Mentoring Program.  The National NeedleArts Association donated yarn, weaving kits, and an instructional book for our students to use.  The supplies were useful and much appreciated.

Assisting students with weaving projects.

Works in progress!

Some of the finished weaving projects.

Mr. LoBianco, Ms. McKenzie, and I had a wonderful time advising Maker Club this year.  It was exciting to see new friendships, skills, and interests blossom over the course of the school year.  We look forward to resuming Maker Club in the fall!

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