The Global Maker Trend is Very Strong at Ecole Central Elementary

By , June 27, 2017

Beautiful Maker learning chaos 🙂  Students were engaged with the play-based learning at their fingertips.

Experimenting with Rube Goldberg machines teaches about the trial and error nature of design thinking.

All the primary students of Ecole Central Elementary (School District 60) participated in Maker Way learning activities this last week of school.  In collaborative, multi-age groups, primary students were led by an intermediate grade helper to construct a Rube Goldberg machine.  A Rube Goldberg machine is a complex, multi-step chain reaction contraption used to do what is ordinarily a simple task.  For example, one Rube Goldberg machine saw a marble traverse down a curved vertical track to knock into a set of lined dominoes, to have the last domino push a toy car off the table into a balance set below, tipping the balance, causing it to fall, and finally, setting off a button that turned on a light!

Students designed, created, played with and remixed their Rube Goldberg machines.  Outside-the-box and logic and science-based thinking were encouraged.

Students used components previously gathered and organized by teachers into kits, but were also encouraged to exercise their creativity and find other components not included in the kits, such as fans, mouse traps, pins, etc.

Their machines had to have at least three transfers of energy and incorporate a working littleBits circuit.  (LittleBits are an award-winning educational tool that introduces concepts of electrical circuitry in a very accessible way.  To learn more about littleBits, please click here.)

All involved enjoyed themselves.  Ecole Central is looking forward to more Maker activities in the fall! Have a happy summer, everyone!

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