When I was a child, I was a “maker”. I think I came by it naturally, because my father was an engineer. Whenever I had the chance, I made things. (I also took things apart. Sometimes I was even able to successfully put them back together again!) All that was fascinating to me. However, that was before the days of engineering camps and science clubs and female mentors for girls who liked to construct and deconstruct things. So when it came time for me to decide on a career path, it did not occur to me to follow in my father’s footsteps and become an engineer myself.
Today there are so many creative opportunities out there for young people. One exciting development is called the “Maker Movement”. What is it? In essence, it is providing time, tools and materials for children to do what they do best – combine their imagination with “stuff” to make things. For those parents who are wondering what they will do to keep their kids busy over spring break, this is a great time to “make”! It doesn’t have to be expensive. Children can do amazing things with empty boxes, packing materials, odds and ends, glue, tape and string. Add in some markers and paint and it becomes an art project as well!
One great way to get your kids making is to present a challenge with the materials. Here are a few to get the creative juices flowing:
- give your child a bucket of change and tell them they can have it all if they can create a device to sort the coins
- create a device to safely drop an egg from a given height
- create a car that is powered by rubber bands
- design one that can go the farthest
- design one that goes the fastest
- (how do the designs differ? why?)
- invent a device to prevent an ice-cream cone from dripping, then go on a field trip to the Beacon Drive Inn to test it out!
- build the tallest tower possible using tape and the paper from one issue of the Times-Colonist (or one of the weekly papers)
- create a device that will keep an ice cube frozen the longest
Your kids have had lots of opportunities for “making” in the classroom this year. We are excited to expand on this by purchasing a maker cart equipped with tools and materials that the teachers can move from room to room in the elementary school. We are also working on reorganizing the middle school space to provide more flexibility for “making”. A big thanks to the Board for supporting us in these endeavours! Stay tuned for more details!
Roberta MacDonald, Principal
Want to learn more about the Maker Movement? Visit Make: and explore the amazing world of the Maker Culture!