A Journey Through Technology

Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

on July 14, 2017

A “Maker Day” is an interesting concept. “A Maker Day is about creativity and collaboration.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 4046) Essentially a “Maker Day” is a chance to share the idea of a Makerspace with the community by providing a place and materials for those not familiar with makerspaces a chance to try making something themselves. There is quite a bit that would go into planning a “Maker Day”, though it would be a good precursor to developing a permanent makerspace.

According to the Maker Day 2014 toolkit, some of the first things you should in planning a “Maker Day” are to pick a date and find a venue. You also need to develop an agenda for the “Maker Day”, set a budget and find funding.  Another important piece of a “Maker Day” is finding volunteers and possible guest speakers, and also who you would like to invite to the event. (2014) Besides picking a date, each of these honestly fits right with building a makerspace, and would probably result in quite a few similarities between my makerspace plan and my “Maker Day” plan. For me, I think a good venue would be the high school where I teach, so that would be one part of the planning that would be easily established for me.

In terms of date, this could be tough. The school year is always so packed with extra-curricular activities that it might be hard to find time to host a “Maker Day” event, so a better choice might be National Maker Day, June 18, which occurs during summer break. I think regardless of the date that is chosen, people would have conflicts, so trying something in the summer might be a good way to start. It would probably limit the number of students that I could recruit to help, as well as other staff members from the school, but that is something that would only be revealed as the event is planned. Once a date is established, then an agenda could start to be developed.

I think one of the biggest pieces of this “Maker Day” would be the budget and funding sources. Ideally, we would be able to ask local businesses and the community for donations to our event, using the supply list from the Makerspace in a Box list by Hlubinka (2013). Summer is also garage sale season, so perhaps some good materials could be scrounged up by event volunteers using funds for the event. My hopes it that we could do a fundraiser or two for the event, maybe through a Maker club that could be started at the school. I think a decent budget for the event could be between $500-$1000, depending on the types of donations we can get from the local community.

In terms of trying to find volunteers for the event, I think students should be the main workforce. “Involve kids in as much of the planning, organizing, and running of the Maker Day as possible.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 4059) In order to get students involved, I think a Maker Club would need to be established at the school, if a makerspace were not already in place before the event. This could help introduce students to the idea of making and get them on board as hosts of the “Maker Day”.

Parents and community members could also make great volunteers for the event. “Ask parents who work in engineering, computing, construction, mechanics, or carpentry fields to share their expertise in hands-on activities.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Locatino 4132) It’s possible that parents or other community members might also be able to be guest speakers at the event, possibly giving an introduction speech as suggested by Maker Day 2014. (2014)

With most of the housekeeping out of the way, the last, and possibly most important piece of this “Maker Day” would be the projects that would be made. “Usually, 10-20 activities mixed between drop-in and longer workshops is the right amount.” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, Kindle Location 4086) Some ideas shared by Caleb Kraft (2015) are Papercraft Makey’s, No Carve Stamps, and Scribble Machines. Kraft shares a few other ideas as well, any of which could be utilized for a “Maker Day”.

While this isn’t an exhaustive preparation for a “Maker Day”, I believe most of the important issues are outlined here. A “Maker Day” sounds like a great way to introduce both students and the community to the idea of makerspaces, and might even be a way to secure funding for future maker events. This type of event almost seems like it would be easier to do for a first attempt at a makerspace-type endeavor, and might be a great way to get administrator buy-in for a permanent makerspace.

References

Kraft, C. (2015) What Will You Create for the National Day of Making? Make: Retreieved July 13, 2017, from http://makezine.com/2015/06/18/will-create-national-day-making/

Faculty of Education. (2014) Maker Day 2014. The University of British Columbia. Retrieved July 13, 2017, from http://www.itabc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/discover/Final%20MakerDayToolKit.pdf

Hlubinka, M. (2013) Stocking up School MakerspacesMake: Retrieved June 22, 2017, from http://makezine.com/2013/08/21/stocking-up-school-makerspaces/

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, And Engineering In The Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

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2 responses to “Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

  1. waclawskid says:

    I appreciate that you realized that picking the right date for a Maker Day can be the difference between a successful event and a disaster. You make a good point.

    Like

  2. Dr. F says:

    I like the idea of a maker club to start and then having it do most of the prep for the maker day. The club would need a parent or two to be involved, but it sounds like fun.

    Like

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