Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Possibilities of Tinkering Tuesday format

Many of you know that Jessica and I are trying things out on our Middle School group, the PHILS, on Tuesday afternoons, with the objective being to gauge activity flow, supervision requirements, etc. in preparation for a more robust on-going Tuesday program for a more diverse age group.

One of the interesting things we have found is that it's good to have a couple of options to choose from on any given day. Gathering first to explain and perhaps grab a teachable moment, then allow some free flow between activities. Some kids really like to dig into one thing, others like to try a few things out.

This feels important to me because if we want this program to be on-going and a bit self-sustaining, we can't be constantly coming up with unique activities every week, but I don't feel that that's necessary!

The Take-Apart Table is ALWAYS interesting. I learned that limiting the number of things to take apart is better. Yesterday, someone took apart an old keyboard. Inside there was a matrix-like diagram following the keys to their various connections internally - a great example of how the face of something can mask the really inter-connectedness underneath.

Some kids are hams and enjoyed the silly Green Screen recording. Actually teaching them the editing skills will require much more concentrated time and attention.
Others really got into using the Little Bits circuitry and built some interesting things. This is a very "learn-on-your-own" kind of activity.

We are beginning to see how sessions might take shape.


  1. I gather that this is kindof how Parts ans Crafts runs their day with lots of options, and it unfolds by the kids direction. It's not wide open, but they start the day with a list of things, some suggested by the leaders, and some by the kids (there are certain activities/tools/materials always available.

  2. Good point, Kevin. We want to go up see the Parts & Crafts set-up pronto to get advice and tips from them. They seem to really "get" the tinkering aspect of Makerspace really well. It's not just about programs but open-ended exploration.


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