Friday, July 8, 2016

Summer in the Library: STEAM Day

For our 2nd Wednesday in the Library, we focused on the STEAM concept.  What that meant for my students was that Mrs. Youel was opening up the Makerspace!  However, since these days are open up to anyone and everyone, it was a bit different, as some of the students told me ("Wow, I didn't know you had this many things!").   It was nice to show the parents, though, what the Makerspace actually is and that their donations go to good use!

I decided we would do structured stations with free play, if that makes ANY sense.

Building Station:  Students could use Legos (always a hit), Tinker Toys, Marble Runs, and PlayDoh to make things.

Art Station:  I brought out my binder of activities we've done this past year that I've kept the directions, opened up the "Fletcher's Creation Station" wiki page on a couple iPads, and set out different materials for those projects, as well as a few extra (like painting) so students could get their create on!

Take Apart Station:  ALWAYS a hit!  If you have a Makerspace, or are thinking of starting one, THIS is the big hit - almost bigger than Legos!  Students have a BLAST taking apart things to see how they work.  Since it's summer, I had a tape player and a CD/tape player that didn't work, and let me tell you - they took them down to bare bones!  However, the conversation that ensued about how they discovered a magnet in the speakers....and the fact the screwdriver they were using was magnetized after awhile....would've made any Science teacher happy!

Circuits/Coding:  On my iPads, I have a folder for "Hour of Code" apps, so I locked in a couple for play:  Lightbot, Scratch Jr, and Foos.  I also set out my Little Bits with some suggestion cards that I got on TPT as a freebie.  One set shows what to build, the other makes a suggestion.  I can't wait to use these next year with my kids - maybe they won't be as obsessed with the buzzers!  I was surprised this station didn't get more activity (I had about 1-2 kids check it out briefly, then moved on), but I'm finding that although the kids love to use tech in the library, hands-on wins hands down! (pun intended).

So, 4 simple stations, but the participants (including some parents) were engaged for the 2 hours and some were even reluctant to go (always a sign of a hit!), but of course, it was lunch time so they were also hungry!

It was a lot to set up, but it was a very hands-off activity, unlike the Amazing Race, where I was bouncing from here to there, helping out at stations (someone's got to ref the Kangaroo race!).  I hope you're able to use some of this in your library or classroom!  I ended up conversing with some of the parents who came, and totally forgot to get action pics! :(  Good thing I remembered my set up ones!


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