Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Open Design

Over the las few months the children have really been catching on to the concepts that are at the heart of what we are doing in the program. Everyday we hear stories of things that they have made and/or a family member has made.They have mastered the use of both a screwdriver and the hot glue gun. And recently we have begun hearing more and more about what they want to make. So during the last few weeks we allowed them to use the tools, resources, and our skills to come up with a design project and see it through. At first we had them plan out what they wanted to design and make. We then when through what materials and/or supplies they would need.
Finally we stood back and let them get to making. Some of the children wanted to make figures like a mermaid, Spiderman, or Mario and Luigi. So we came up with a generic cardboard figure, we cut on the laser cutter, that could be put together using brass fasteners at their joints. The children then put them together in the configuration they wanted and added props they created, decorations, and other additions. Other children wanted to make rockets, cars, stuffed animals you name it. 
Using the laser cutter we were able to assist some in cutting out their drawings in cardboard so they would have a physical representation they could then add to and play with.

What a great summer. It is wonderful to see the confidence the children have gained with the tools and to see grow as makers!