During the week of TCEA I was lucky enough to attend a Makers Movement workshop. I knew as soon as I walked in the door that I would love the workshop because there was “stuff” everywhere. This truly was a hands on workshop where you got to make stuff! After a short 10 minute overview of the Maker’s Movement we were assigned the task of creating a chair using cardboard and these plastic zip-tie like connectors. This activity was right up my alley. As a DIYer fanatic at home, I dove right into the project and our group came up with a pretty cool design.
We then took a circuit board and play doh to make a controller to play Pac Man. This was seriously the most fun I had ever had a workshop. Most importantly the presenter told us how each activity connected back to the TEKS and how each project included multiple TEKS.
We completed several other hands on, task and then we left with the presenters’ website to view other projects that were similar to the ones we completed. I scrolled through the website a week later to come across the Wiki Seat project http://www.wikiseat.org/. I was instantly intrigued because it gave the kids the chance to think outside of the box and still apply math, science, and language arts skills. I went ahead and purchased 2 of the catalyst with hopes that one teacher would love the project!
|The Wiki Seat catalyst of the starting point of the project. Students add 3 legs and a top to create a functional seat.|
The first elementary teacher, I approached liked the idea but wasn’t sure where she would get the materials and didn’t know when her class would have time. Strike 1! I reevaluated and tried an art teacher at the secondary level. No response… Strike 2! Why wasn’t anyone jumping on this opportunity? This was such a cool project and it covered so many concepts!
Skip ahead a month…On a whim, I emailed the high school welding teacher in hopes that maybe he could at least weld a few additional catalyst for me and then I could approach a teacher with a class set of catalyst. No response…. Strike 3! (So I thought) Well, I’m not one to give up when it comes to a cool project that I feel passionate about so I decided to drop by the welding class and “bug” the teacher.
With my wiki seat shipping box in hand, I walk into a classroom full of high school students and ask the teacher if he read my email. Yes, I know not the most professional way to handle the situation, but I am persistent and don’t like to be told no (does anyone like to be told no, didn’t think so). I was welcomed into the class and given a 30 minute tour of the facilities. The teacher supported the project and wanted to display the finished products at his FFA banquet in a month.
Victory at last!! I had a willing teacher, however would I have willing students????
Stay tuned for Part 2 when I get to introduce the project to 3 classes of high school students! Let’s just say I didn’t get the response I was hoping for!