In order to promote the Library Makerspace materials, the Makerspace team have been setting up shop in the cafeteria at lunch for the last few weeks. Our first week was March 21st.
Christianne Loupelle took charge of the binary bracelets activity where students could bead their names in binary code. Ms. Loupelle used the following Binary Guide:
This was by far one of the more popular activities. It was a great, subversive introduction to computational thinking disguised as an easy craft. Although most of the students stuck to the challenge of writing their names in binary, a few opted to simply make a bracelet or a necklace, which was okay too. The whole idea is to introduce some hands-on exploration in their day that has no external pressure attached to it (grades, competition, etc.) Also, the kind of repetitive, detailed task of beading is almost like meditation, so there is a nice mindfulness component to this activity as well!
I took charge of our resident robot Ollie. I had a hard time finding people who wanted to drive it at first, but after driving it around the cafeteria for a few minutes and bumping into people, I finally got some takers. I was hoping they would try to program his movements in Tickle, but I found that I had to prod the students to even take the controls. They were so afraid of “breaking it” or of “making a mistake” they wouldn’t even try at first. It was a real lesson for me in terms of the internal barriers to discovery and exploration that have already begun to take root in our young girls. yet, with a little bit of prodding and basically shoving my iPad into their hands, by the end of lunchtime I couldn’t take it away from them.
Here are a couple of shots of both activities: