They say, “Timing is Everything”



Type: News

While iterating on your prototypes is important, it’s also important to pay close attention to the timing and the space you and your team are in. This week’s Student R&D meeting was especially interesting, but first I’d like to bring you back to last semester’s Maker task force.

Spring 2015 Goals (Past)

  • Gain understanding in why Maker and Engineering are needed
  • Find and evaluate maker products that could benefit education
  • Create, test, and evaluate the usefulness of maker activities
  • Research and prototype new hands on ways to learn
  • Written evaluations and prototypes of research
  • Work with StuCo to help design and run HS Maker Challenges

Above are the goals we had for Spring 2015. We wanted to empower students by taking them through the process we use to develop maker and give them a say in what we do and how we do it. Last semester started off strong with the group designing and hosting a large maker challenge for the entire 9th and 10th grades. As we progressed, we noticed a drop in the enthusiasm of our student team. We discovered the students were more interested in making than they were in researching, planning, and running different maker activities and prototypes. We used these learnings to outline our goals for the Fall semester.

Fall 2015 Goals

  • Look at problems around ASB that can be fixed using Maker
  • Make a project prototype that attempts to solve a problem
  • Work with school administration to make the prototype real

Which brings us back to this week’s meeting. The Student R&D team sat around a table in the lower library discussing different wicked problems students face at ASB. After 30 minutes, we were getting ready to wrap up our extensive list when one student said, “I think we should have additional maker challenges outside of advisory period.” This comment unleashed a flurry of maker-related problems ranging from ways we could improve the makerspace, to events and challenges we should run. By the end of the conversation, there had been interest in every goal of last semester’s task force. Which brings us to our new, new goals for Fall 2015.

Fall 2015 Goals

  • Look at problems around ASB that can be fixed using Maker
  • Make a project prototype that attempts to solve a problem
  • Work with school administration to make the prototype real
  • Gain understanding in why Maker and Engineering are needed
  • Find and evaluate maker products that could benefit education
  • Create, test, and evaluate the usefulness of maker activities
  • Written evaluations and prototypes of research
  • Design and run HS Maker Challenges

As you can see, these are pretty much the goals of last semester’s Maker task force. I’ve spent a couple of days thinking about why and how this happened as well as speaking to colleagues about it. We’ve determined that Maker was in a different space for our students last semester; they were still exploring it and looking for more experience in making. Now that they have more experience making, they’re in a space where they want a part in owning that experience. Last semester’s goals were ahead of their time.

With our new(ish?) goals in place, we’re ready to move forward in making meaningful activities, deepening understanding of Maker, and improving the maker experiences for everyone. Stay tuned for updates.