A Summer of Making
The current pandemic has many parents worried about their child falling behind academically, and many have turned to workbooks to help them keep up during the summer months. These workbooks are full of great tools to educate students on mathematics and writing. However, most students do not find them engaging. Within 10 minutes of working through the book they are complaining that they don’t want to do it. Engaging students with making activities is a way to teach content while also teaching valuable employability skills like problem solving and persistence. This week we have some ideas to help get you started with your summer of making. Follow our summer blog series for additional ideas.
Design It Make It (At-Home) Challenge by TPFY
The Design It Make It (At-Home) Challenge from the TechPoint Foundation for Youth was specifically designed to be completed at home and the materials are guided towards parents. The goal of this year’s challenge is to create an innovative solution to growing or distributing food in a sustainable way. This maker challenge engages young people in finding solutions to our current food sustainability crisis while developing creative thought and problem solving skills.
Programming with Dash and Dot
Another great and simple activity is to build an obstacle course, and have your child program a Dash robot to make its way through the obstacle course. Start by grabbing a few cardboard boxes from the recycling bin, stack them in a way that creates a path, and set the robot at the entry. Next, have your child begin to write a program that tells the robot how to make it through this path. Inevitably, the first few attempts will probably end in failure. However, after making some adjustments to the code, through trial and error, your child will have success. This fun and simple activity helps build creative problem skills and even introduces kids to coding, plus the Dash is versatile and can be used for countless other activities that will continue to engage your little one. The Dash Home Learning Bundle is currently on sale through June 2, 2020.
If it is a hot summer day, you might be looking for a water activity. Build-A-Boat Workshop Kits are simple STEM Kits that provide all the material you need to build a small boat, minus the tools and recyclable materials. You can then take the boat to your kiddie pool and explore how it moves or even have a boat race between siblings! The kit includes access to resource guides from Teacher Geek as well as 1st Maker Space lesson plans and digital materials.
If you're still looking for more summer maker projects, there are a variety of different STEM kits available on our online store. These kits will be sent right to your door and have been created with education in mind. At 1st Maker Space, we believe that the most effective form of education comes from creating a problem garden, a space where kids face problems and are given the tools to be creative and solve these problems. We hope to help foster the growth of a generation of makers to make a better future.