A Maker’s Playground

Strawbees, LittleBits, and paper circuits-Oh my!  What a fun day in #MSUrbanSTEM learning!  We are welcoming 51 new fellows into our 2015/2016 MSU Urban STEM Cohort.  As if that isn’t exciting enough, recently our fellows were totally engaged in a full, hands-on Maker’s Playground.  Adult kids dabbled in all sorts of exploring, creating, and sharing! Makey Makey kits, Strawbees, Littlebits, Raspberry Pi, Big Shot Cameras, Squishy Circuits, paper circuits, and Google Cardboard were all materials of exploration.  Several of our new MSU Urban STEM family members shared their favorite activities. Bethany Blackwood is a math teacher at DeVry Advantage Academy High School.  She explored a Makey Makey kit for the first time and loved it!  She was curious and very surprised with everything the small kits could do!  She and her group created a fruit and vegetable band and admits it was pretty hilarious, but very educational!  She adds, “Because it was fun, I didn’t give up, asked questions, and persevered until we got it to work.”

Although she admits it was a struggle, Gretchen Brinza also loved the Makey Makey kit.  She loved how the simple kit offered such endless possibilities.  “It took a bit of risk and failure and then we were able to run with it! What can come from a struggle is sometimes the best thing,”  she exclaimed. She also expressed how the Makey Makey kit made her wonder…about a lot of things.

World of Wonder.  Another hot topic in #MSUrbanSTEM conversations.  Joanna Calandriello enjoyed the World of Wonder activities most.  She felt the day was enhanced with rich conversation due to individually shared WOW moments.  “It went in many directions and brought an interesting twist to the whole day,” she shared.  Joanna also thoroughly enjoyed the many Quickfire Challenges, although she felt anxious and frustrated at times. She adds, “I believe Quickfire Challenges are a great way to push students to think outside the box!”