Do you or your child like to make things? Do you like having fun? If you do, attend Aldine ISD’s free MakerSpace Mania event set for Sat., April 8 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Aldine Education Center.
The District’s Library Services Department is hosting the family event at the center located at 1702 Aldine Bender Rd. (Houston 77032). The building is next door to Child Nutrition Services and across the street from the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.
Local entities will also be present to share the fabulous programming they provide for Aldine students and families.
Teachers will be able to receive Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit for the time attended. To ensure CPE credit is given, educators should check in and inform the volunteers at the registration table that they are teachers.
The MakerSpace fusion has been in place in Montessori schools. Maria Montessori’s core beliefs challenged society’s norms for educating young children. She believed that educators must not impose on or force-feed their students. Montessori discovered that children learn from their environment and by doing. She recognized the need for individual learning.
She also noticed how tactile and curious young children are. They are curious about how things work. Montessori decided to work with students’ absorbent minds and attraction to hands-on learning. In doing so, she observed how children reinforce their skills through teaching others.
Montessori observed that environment is extremely important and worked to create specific materials and learning centers to facilitate active engagement and experimentation. Although her methods are over a century old, they have recently resurfaced in wider educational circles, particularly among educators.
Librarians have embraced the idea of “learning by doing.” Today’s librarians act as guides to students. They facilitate inquiry and discovery beyond direct teaching. The approach focuses on the positive aspects of students’ curiosity, artistry and enthusiasm. In the MakerSpace setting, librarians promote students taking ownership of their own learning.
The MakerSpace has its own special evolution in libraries. As far back as the 1870s, women’s groups formed and met in libraries to quilt, knit and socialize. The current MakerSpace movement combines no tech to low- and high-tech tools. This could include knitting to 3D printers and circuitry. MakerSpaces evolved from an arts and crafts center to one that embraces both science and art.
Cindy Buchanan finds the movement exciting for all involved. Buchanan is the program director library services. She works with campus information literacy specialists (aka librarians). Buchanan shared that MakerSpace activities can include arts and crafts and Legos. They can include repurposing recycled materials, robotics kits and 3D printers. MakerSpaces in the District continue to expand into all kinds of activities.
“Librarians don’t have to know all the answers,” said Buchanan. “We have to know where and how to find the answers. Librarians act as facilitators and guides. We encourage students to pursue knowledge. They do this through independent research, collaborating with others and asking questions.
“The best tool is when students ask if they can create something. We say, ‘Yes, try it and see what happens.’ As they create, learning is happening. It encourages student growth whether that be motor skills or solving design thinking challenges.”
“We invite kids to learn new skills,” said Hensley. “They can apply concepts they are learning across a wide range of content areas. They are incorporating art, literacy and numeracy. MakerSpaces are places for students to give function and purpose to their ideas. That all evolves from the exploration process. It empowers students.”
Buchanan and Hensley are not alone in believing that maker-centered learning empowers students. According to a report, maker-centered learning helps young people connect the dots or find meaning. Students feel that they can build and shape their worlds. Maker-centered learning focuses on deep and prolonged experiences of learning through making.
As kids work through the process, they gain understanding of how things work or ways that they could improve the functionality of a device. They develop creative thinking skills (i.e. think outside the box). They learn to work independently and collaboratively. They also gain confidence in becoming a maker. And tomorrow they may become prototype developers, artists, designers, engineers, or entrepreneurs. Or someday they will become individuals with a very serious hobby for making and tinkering!
For more information about MakerSpace Mania, contact Elizabeth Hensley at [email protected]
Follow Aldine libraries on Twitter @aldinelibraries or Instagram @aldinelibraries.
Creativity is intelligence having fun. — Albert Einstein
Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple. That’s creativity. — Charles Mingus
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t do it. They just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. — Steve Jobs
To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. — Joseph Chilton Pearce
You see things and say, “Why?” But I dream things that never were, and I say, “Why not?” — George Bernard Shaw
Design is intelligence made visible. — Alina Wheeler
It’s not just about creativity; it’s about the person you’re becoming while you’re creating. — Charlie Peacock
It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing. — Steve Jobs
Curiosity about life in all its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people. — Leo Burnett
Creativity takes courage. — Henri Matisse
Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought. — Albert Einstein
An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. — Edwin Land
Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye. — Dorothy Parker
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. — Eleanor Roosevelt
Good artists copy, great artists steal. — Pablo Picasso
*In the last quote from Picasso, people might associate a negative connotation when they see the word “steal.” The context of the quote is meant to be a positive one. It refers to the creative process. Steve Jobs also liked to use this quote. Essentially, a great artist will drink in all that other artists have done and do. They will absorb it, emulate and learn from it and use it to stimulate their own creativity. A great artist will select (steal) elements from other artists’ work. A great artist will incorporate it. But they will mix their personal style. They will blend their personal experiences or improve the design to create something uniquely their own.
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