Skip to main content

Harvesting an Orchard of Innovative Makers! Orchard School District Teachers share 1st year RAFT Makerspace Experiences

Written by Peter Holley, Middle School Orchard teacher and this year's Makerspace Cohort Lead Teacher

The maker space at Orchard School came into being this year with a community build in October.  Although our space is small, it is well put together and well stocked.  Several teachers have had the opportunity to use the maker space this year and we hope that more teachers will discover the maker space and use it in their lessons in the coming year. 

This year we had a cohort of teachers that was comprised of those that are passionate about making.  We met together monthly to learn how to use the space effectively and to incorporate making into our curriculum.  Each teacher in the cohort used the maker space with their classes and all had a positive experience and indicate that they hope to use it more frequently in the coming year. 
In the cohort we learned about a design process developed at Stanford called “design thinking”.  In this process students first use empathy to learn about the target audience for a design before defining the project and brainstorming ideas.

One of our cohort teachers, Ms. Jackler, used the space for students to build bridges as part of a connection to our “mystery science” curriculum.  Students needed to build bridges to allow a car to pass underneath.

Ms. Jain, another cohort teacher, had her students design and build leprechaun traps.  The students were able to choose from the wide variety of materials in the maker space.  They worked in cooperative groups to solve the problems associated with catching an elusive leprechaun.
Ms. Gould and Ms. Sakoda challenged their students to design a device that would safely allow an egg to be dropped without breaking.

Ms. Sakoda’s class also participated in an activity for students to build a tower using only a limited selection of materials.  Their empathy goal was to make the tower sturdy enough for a character to feel safe while “standing” on it.
We are excited to see the maker space being used and look forward to it becoming an integral part of classrooms across Orchard School! 



Find out more about Orchard School. District at: www.orchardsd.org

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Putting the E in STEAM

By Amanda Amburgey M.A, Maker Science Teacher, Bulldog Tech 


What is going on in this classroom? There are kids everywhere excitedly making, testing, remaking, retesting, hot gluing, hammering, there is so much duct tape!  This is what engineering looks like in a middle school science class.   This is excited, meaningful learning.  How did I get to this place where I feel comfortable facilitating such an active engineering process with my classes?  As a science teacher I have had practice with hands on, inquiry based labs, technology and math makes their way into those labs easily.  But, engineering had me stumped.  How was I going to be an effective engineering teacher as required with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when I knew so little about engineering?  
This is where RAFT and their STEM workshops really saved me and gave me the courage to start engineering projects.  I started with a somewhat common misconception of what engineers do.  I thought engineering was going…

CUSD Shares Possible STEAM Projects by Grade

Twelve STEAM Innovation Leaders from the Campbell Unified School District (CUSD) came to RAFT earlier this month to create new motivational activities for the start of the school year!  They met in grade-level teams with our RAFT Education staff to generate new ideas using RAFT materials that will motivate, challenge, and inspire their students. Each team was given a RAFT Makerspace-in-a-Box containing a wide variety of upcycled materials. They were asked to create a Design Challenge that directed students to solve the instructor’s challenge with the materials from the box. The Design Challenges addressed an engineering standard appropriate for each grade level and could include standards from other subjects. Here are some of their exciting back-to-school ideas:
************************************************************************************* Grades TK – 2 Engineering Standard: K-2-ETS1-1:  Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to chan…

The "RAFTy" Teacher Checklist - 5 Things to do to Prepare for Back to School