We had our first meeting of Maker Club yesterday, and it’s off to a wild start! About 20 students showed up, mostly new members from the 7th grade. We started with our Quickfire Challenge after I went over some general rules for how the afternoon would run. Our Quickfire Challenge this month was a tower building competition. Students got into groups of 2-4 students and were given 10 Popsicle sticks, 10 straws, tape, and scissors. They had 10 minutes to use those supplies to build the tallest tower that was standing when the 10 minutes were up. Some students quickly realized the key to winning was building a strong base, others forgot that the heavier materials should not be on the top. Some teams had great teamwork and each had a role, and some teams worked independently and had trouble coming together at the end. The tallest tower ended up being 41″, and in 2nd place, 39″, so it was very close. The two winning teams got a candy prize and glow sticks!
When the challenge was over, students had about 40 minutes to try out all the gadgets. A lot of students were quickly drawn to the Spheros, littleBits, and 3D printer. It will take students some time to get used to using all the gadgets, and I suggested coming in at lunch time to become more comfortable with the technologies. We had 2 Spheros die, and are anxiously awaiting the replacements in the mail, so more students will have the opportunity to use them!
Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18!
This week our Maker Club Quickfire Challenge was to create the best paper airplane. Students had 10 minutes and could choose from 3 different types of paper. They were able to look up tutorials if they wanted, but were not allowed to use any tape, staples, etc. Students found creative ways to crease the edges of their planes (placing the plane under a chair), and were ready to fly them down the hall when their time was up. The top 3 winners chose a candy prize!
I decided, late at night when I couldn’t sleep, I needed to add something to Maker Club. The students and I have talked about challenges for them to complete, but when push comes to shove and I offer them a challenge, they’d rather tinker on their own. I started thinking about cooking shows on the Food Network, and the small challenges the contestants participate in before their elimination challenge, thus, the quickfire challenge was created.
Each Maker Club, the quickfire challenge will change, and students will never know beforehand what the challenge is. Students will be given 10 minutes to complete a challenge. Some will be group challenges, some will be individual, prizes will be awarded to at least 3 students every time. Every student must participate, and may not touch the Spheros, littleBits, etc. until the challenge is finished.
Last week students were excited for the “Marshmallow Challenge”. Students created teams and were given marshmallows and toothpicks. Their directions were: in 10 minutes they needed to work together to build the tallest structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks. At the end of 10 minutes the structure must be standing so I could measure it. Simple, but FUN!
We had 3 teams, each with a different number of students. The team with the most students won, which was my hypothesis, but the team with the smallest number of students actually came in 2nd. Each team worked differently. On one team, all students worked separately and then tried to piece everything together at the end…*SPOILER*, their tower collapsed. One team built a structure that wasn’t very stable, but then kept adding around the outside to balance it. The last team had their tower collapse many times, but because they had the most people, they were able to troubleshoot and rebuild. It was fun to watch, and I am excited for the next challenge at the end of March.