What are some of the things you see emerging from the Maker labs? We were asked this question yesterday in a meeting with our Maker labs partners Tony and Christie from the Metabolic foundation.
The Maker labs is hosted at Di ISL on Wednesday and Thursday from 3-7pm. We develop project ideas together and guided by Tony and Christie we learn how to make things, fix things or come up with cool recycling ideas. An important part of the Maker labs now is our engagement with children. On any given day at the maker labs we have on average 15 children and young adults age 6 to 20. Some of these children know each other from the community or from school. What we make is sometimes determined by the materials we have available, we have made things from pallet boards, cardboard and newspaper.
Earlier when we started we were asked what were some of the projects we imagined building a solar dehydrator, a window farm, a tech corner for kids, chalkboard paint and a roof top garden. We also wanted to do some projects with the Arduino board and the Rasberry pi.
So far these are the things we have observed:
- It is not always easy for kids to work together and to learn to share things
- The labs offer the opportunity to learn to work together
- The labs makes learning fun and interesting
- Kids feel proud when they can complete a fun task or project
- The labs allow kids and adults to be use their imagination and to be creative
- The labs helps us to focus on problem solving in creative ways
- Kids feel a sense of responsibility working on projects
- Kids look forward to coming to the maker labs
- Some kids demonstrate an increase in discipline since coming to the maker labs
- The labs help us to see kids who have a natural interest in making and fixing things
- The labs give adults a chance to see they could develop a livelihood around the knowledge and skills they may be developing in recycling and making things
- The labs is a social space. Kids and adults spend constructive time together
- The labs helps us to experiment with alternative models for learning
- The labs help us create awareness around the environment and materials in the environment
- The labs helps us re-imagine our world and feel capable of making the things we imagine.