A Makerspace/School Fab Lab for the Play Make Share program at REM Learning Center which investigates how the integration of methods such as design thinking, systems thinking, computational thinking, play, making, and tinkering within both formal and informal learning environments can be used to introduce 21st Century Skills and inspire a lifelong love of learning at an early age.
The children could not wait for us to fire up the glue guns so that they could get to work. After all they had a whole night to think about it and they were bursting with ideas. While some focused on creating multiple smaller works others were focused on larger more elaborate creations. I'll let the pictures of some of the creations speak for themselves.
When the children came in to the studio they could not wait to continue using the screw drivers and were excited to find new components that were not completely removed the day before.
We also introduced some images of creations that artists had made using scrap parts similar to the ones that they had been removing. Specifically we introduced 2 artists Andrea Petrachi and Jeremy Mayer and asked the student to begin to try and design their own works using the components they were taking apart.
We introduced them to the hot glue gun so that they could attach loose components to one another fairly quickly. Some had seen their parents use it before and were eager to try it themselves. We described which parts were dangerous and modeled it's proper use for the children. Almost immediately they began to come up with ideas and spring into action.
After the children had a chance to create we then had them clean up and collect their creations for a closing activity. We explained to them that they would still have tomorrow to continue creating. We then asked them to represent their creation with an drawing and explain what it was or what it meant to them.
Some created flying cars, while others had created robots, spiders, faces, and dogs.
For day 1 we brought out a collection of old radios and electronics. The children were asked what they thought was inside and after a brief discussion where introduced to screw drivers and invited to find out!
Many of the children jumped right in and began removing screws, others required a bit more assistance but picked up quickly.
Once they got the radios open some stopped to explore the components while others where just happy taking out as many screws as they possibly could.
Some of the children commented on how the circuit boards, and traces resembled small cities and streets.
We handed out some alligator clips and batteries so that the children could experiment with some of the mechanisms and speakers that where removed from the radios.
By the end of our class the children had thoroughly stripped all the radios and collected the components into bins.