These last two weeks I have been able to introduce more educators in our district to the Maker Movement through a creative Strawbees activity. In 20 minutes the dynamic of the room completely changes as teams engage in a making challenge together. Check out the iMovie trailer that showcases what happened in the room.
Strawbees is a simple tool that packs a lot of learning and collaborating opportunities. A new iPad app also showcases different projects.
This past summer I was able to attend Constructing Modern Knowledge through a grant with Donor's Choose. It was 4 days of engaging in the design process.
1. Proposing an idea of something we always wanted to create
2. Finding common souls who wanted to create the same thing
3. Learning how to create our dream with others
4. Trying and failing
5. Sharing our final design
Instead of learning how to teach, we were learning how to learn.
The Strawbees were donated by Strawbees directly to DENSI 2015 and several educators were able to take the kits home to use with their students. Our program also received some Strawbees from participating in Google Maker Camp.
I first learned about Strawbees when SP Design Lab was selected for an Instructable Build Night. It gave my students and me an opportunity to create and learn with Strawbees and Straws. Student creations were extremely clever and the activity made me realize how much I wanted to share this open ended creative product with other educators.
The perfect opportunity to share came with DENSI 2015 (Discovery Educators Network Summer Institute) which I was fortunate to be selected for. Kristy Vincent had brought the DENovator Faire to DENSI the previous year which was a big hit. I reached out to Strawbees to see if they would consider donating a kit to be used for exploration at DENovator Faire and below is the response that I received.
Can you say.... AMAZING? Erik responded the same day that I emailed him. I already loved Strawbees but knowing that the company itself is as amazing as the product was a wonderful discovery. Check out some of the creations from DENSI 2015 below.
Step 1: InstaMorph
Step 2: Strawbees
Strawbees and InstaMorph Creations
I was able to capture several of the designs that our students invented.
Thank you Instructables for the opportunity to work with these fun products.
Our SP Design Lab has been very fortunate to be selected to participate in the following build nights through Instructables.
March - Circuit Scribe
April - InstaMorph
InstaMorph is a unique product that turns into malleable plastic that hardens. I can't wait to try this out with our students to see what they will create. I have already visited the InstaMorph website to see other ideas... now I have to decide what lucky groups will be creating with this moldable plastic.
May - Strawbees
Our luck continued when we were selected for the Strawbees Build Night. I'm very excited about the simplicity of the Strawbees. Check out this video... I can't wait to see what our students will do with Strawbees.