MAKERSPACE STEM INITIATIVE AT TAABINGA
THIS term Taabinga State School has built and developed a Makerspace in the resource centre.
Makerspaces are used in schools to support students to engage in creating, critical thinking, problem solving and collaborate on projects.
The space provides children with the opportunity to tinker, discover, experiment and build with a range of equipment and technology.
The Makerspace Project, supported by the School Council, introduces Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics ( STEM) to our children through lunchtime activities.
With Lego Robotics, Little Bits, Simple Machine Lego, Bee Bots and Blue Bots, a programmable Robot Mouse, Osmos, Strawbee and Kinex construction sets, children explore and build, solving problems and creating. Box and paper construction provide low- tech options, with science experiments as part of the weekly program. Here’s what students had to say: Last week we tried to make slime. This was fun but a bit messy. We added stuff like shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner and baby oil to our slime to make it stretchy. The shaving cream worked best with white glue. The clear glue slime went a bit hard. You need to mix in an activator like saline or diluted borax solution. If you add too much it doesn’t work. The activator has a chemical reaction with the glue and starts to thicken. — Amber Irvine 5T Strawbees construction is great. It consists of coloured straws and connecting pieces called bees. These can connect five ways, three ways, two ways or just one. They are cool. We can make all sorts of things such as cubes, balls, people, animals and lots more.
Last week we had a challenge to make certain things. Years 1- 2 had to make a flower, Years 3- 4 made a plane and Years 6- 7 made a bridge.
The flower was easy and mine was huge. The bridge was harder. — Allison Baldwin 1M Educational games
OSMOS are educational games for the iPads using physical materials or pen and paper.
Year 4 children have been using Osmos in maths rotations to collaborate and solve problems or to create together.
Prep R has used Osmos in their classroom as well.
Year 6 boys have been working at lunch break with the Little Bits.
These are magnetic circuits and motors.
The boys were experimenting with patterns and designs looking at cause and effect.
Their task was to make a car with front and back wheels going in different directions.
Robotics has been a part of the Taabinga State School program this year.
Children are currently building a potential ball machine based on the Great Ball Challenge.
They are using marble size balls to design and build a machine where the balls move around continuously.
The school’s Makerspace vision is to provide children with a place to play, explore, create, experiment, and question.
A place where there are no right or wrong answers, where children develop general capabilities of communication, cooperation, collaboration, critical thinking, creating and build deep learning.
A Makerfaire will showcase the Makerspace initiative in the last weeks of school.
NO RIGHT OR WRONG: Students tinker with Little Bits magnetic circuits and motors. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED Students test their skills with Strawbees construction. Strawbees construction at Taabinga State School.