Makey Makey Makerspacey

One of our awesome additions this summer has been a Makey Makey classroom kit. Due to a S.T.E.M. grant, we were able to purchase a kit of twelve Makey Makeys and use them with our Chromebooks.

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One of the events I developed for this summer is a makerspace-style program called Makey Makey Makerspacey.  In true makerspace style, it’s a semi-unstructured, creative event for socializing, collaborating, and inventing.  The kids are given a handful of projects that they can work on, but also retain the freedom to do something else completely if they so desire.

One of the things the kids work on is playing a simple video game, like Super Mario Bros. or Flappy Bird, on a controller that they have designed out of objects. We used bananas, play-doh, marshmallows, and celery — just to name a few.

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Watching the kids have those “light-bulb moments” between how to correctly wire the Makey Makey to properly communicate and play the game is exciting. The kids always have a really great time and are sure to let us know how “cool” our program was.

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Sphero Tots: Paint Like Pollock

This summer we offered two special Sphero programs where kids could use the robots to paint an expressive “drip” style painting.  The children first learned how to use a computer to control the Spheros, and then used washable paint to paint their robot and drive it around on a large floor canvas.

Many of the children had come to our Sphero programs in the past, and it was interesting to see how much their ability to use and control the robots had improved in a short period of time.

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Overall, the event went really well and everyone had a fun time. In the future, I would like to play around more with adding textures to the body of the robots when painting. It would be interesting to see how adding things like plastic wrap, bubble wrap, or tissue paper would change the painting style.

Outreach Story Time Events

Did you know we offer free preschool story times at children’s daycare centers and schools? Check out these amazing testimonials from some of our children at the Children’s Learning Center!

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