Archivi tag: school

#Maker Space in #Schools: an educational opportunity for all

The “Maker” movement is gaining followers and attention. Ironically it’s from the “virtual”, “digital” world of bits that the come back of “atoms” has started. Not just electronic gadgets but everything from mechanics to weaving. These activities are very formative and allow for many curriculum-related activities. Here below an article based on the US situation. Here in Italy we are way behind in adopting digital tools in school (see previous post) as the lack of funds leaves even more basic needs unsatisfied. It’s difficult to imagine labs equipped with 3D printers and laser cutters, but a lot can be achieved with ordinary tools (and the help of willing parents)

Creating Makerspaces in Schools

From Edutopia NOVEMBER 6, 2012

Two weekends ago, I attended EdCamp NYC at The School at Columbia, an independent school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. One of the things I love about attending edcamps is that the day is always unpredictable because you don’t know what will be discussed or who will be leading conversations until that morning. What ensued was an inspiring day focused on tinkering, exploration and innovation.

A Day of Play and Exploration

The day began with a discussion led by Don Buckley, The School’s Director of Technology and Innovation, focused on design thinking in schools. Buckley used projects completed at The School to illustrate the various stages of design thinking, which include defining a problem, researching and creating a solution and a prototype, and implementing the solution.

Following this, my colleagues and I ran a session entitled “Programming with Food,” during which the four of us set up our new MakeyMakeys along with Play-Doh and various types of food ranging from tomatoes and grapes to potatoes and orange peels, to show how students can manipulate existing programs and websites using the MakeyMakey board and conductive materials — or build their own to manipulate in Scratch. We spent an hour watching amazing videos of what others have created using the boards, practicing some programming in Scratch and then playing with the boards and the cornucopia of food one of my colleagues brought along.

The day ended with a session on 3D printing run by Don Buckley and Jaymes Dec. The most important takeaways from this session were that 3D design doesn’t require a printer, that the design process is way more important than the printing, and that 3D printing is WAY harder than it looks (and WAY cool).

Design thinking, tinkering and exploring, designing and creating . . .

These are the essence of the many Makerspaces (also called Hackerspaces and similar to FabLabs) that have been popping up in cities across the country. These spaces are built by both young people and by adults, and more often than not, they provide a workspace playground for adults. Due to their success as an innovative approach to learning, many educators are trying to bring the concept into schools.

Why Makerspaces?

We are constantly bombarded with the idea that the U.S. is “behind” the rest of the world in STEM education, that our students need to be able to think critically, problem-solve and collaborate in order to succeed in the future they will inhabit. (Forget the fact that critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration are part of what schools should be designed to support in the first place.) Makerspaces provide creative time and, well, space for people of all ages to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, bounce ideas off one another and build something together. These spaces don’t always include technology, since some prototypes and designs can be built out of anything or may include various stages of design that move from analog to digital and back again, but many do include technology. In the 3D printing and design thinking session, I was lucky enough to see how students might create a 3D design using CAD software, only to discover that their scale was off or that their prototype just plain won’t work.

Bringing Makerspaces into Schools

So the big question is: how do we bring these kinds of workspaces into schools so that every child has access to a safe, creative space for exploration?

There are a few different kinds of attempts being made at various schools. Some are creating ad hoc spaces by transforming existing spaces into after-school makerspaces through the use of tubs and other storage containers. This way, materials can be stored away during the school day.

Other schools are integrating aspects of design thinking and playfulness into the curriculum, providing time during the day or during a unit for this kind of free exploration.

Some are bringing makerspaces inside the school walls by creating electives or other special classes dedicated to creative exploration.

Many schools and community groups have used grant money and/or community support to fund the technology, tools and materials used in their makerspaces. Often, local businesses and tech companies are more than happy to contribute to what they consider the engagement and training of future employees.

MakerBot Thing-o-Matic 3D PrinterA MakerBot Thing-o-Matic 3D Printer at The SchoolCredit: Mary Beth Hertz

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Old #school #curation as a tool for learning

Make students curators

An interesting article on the benefits of “real life” curation projects for learning. I edited down to focus on the specific point of curation, eliminating the more general concepts which are still available in the full version.

Full article here


What would happen if we made students practice curation—actual curation?

I emphasize actual because “curation” has become a digital buzzword over the past couple years, but it’s been defined pretty consistently to mean not much more than finding, selecting, and sharing resources—mostly online content—with one’s readers. A common objective of this kind of curation, according to content marketing specialists, is to make yourself valuable to consumers who are too busy to find this material, synthesize it, and contextualize it in a way that is useful.

All too often, this kind of curation is driven more by marketing imperatives than intellectual engagement with one’s world and one’s audience. In this essay, then, I’m talking about another whole order of curation, what museum folk might consider “old school” curation. Really, though, I’m advocating bringing together old school curation with digital tools that allow for creation, contextualization, argument, and engagement.

Critical and creative thinking should be prioritized over remembering content

That students should learn to think for themselves may seem like a no-brainer to many readers, but if you look at the textbook packages put out by publishers, you’ll find that the texts and accompanying materials (for both teachers and students) assume students are expected to read and retain content—and then be tested on it.

Instead, between middle school (if not earlier) and college graduation, students should practice—if not master—how to question, critique, research, and construct an argument like an historian.

California’s history and social science content standards for public schools offer a list of “intellectual, reasoning, reflection, and research skills” high school students should develop in conjunction with their content knowledge (40-41). Here, paraphrased and consolidated, are several of those skills:

  • Students analyze how change happens, or fails to happen, over time, and understand that change affects technology, politics, values, and beliefs.
  • Students recognize the complexity, and sometimes indeterminacy, of historical cause and effect.
  • Students use maps and documents to interpret patterns of migration and immigration, environmental impacts, and the diffusion of ideas, technology, and goods.
  • Students connect events to physical and human characteristics of the landscape; analyze how people have altered landscapes; and consider the environmental policy implications of these characteristics and alterations.
  • Students evaluate historians’ arguments; identify bias and prejudice in historical interpretations; and evaluate major debates among historians, analyzing authors’ use of evidence.
  • Students collect, evaluate, and employ information from multiple sources; construct and test hypotheses; and make arguments in oral and written presentations.
  • Students understand past events and issues within the context of the past.

These standards emphasize critical and creative thinking.  They ask students to consider more than just documents, including maps and landscapes; draw on primary and secondary sources; investigate the validity of historians’ arguments; and even to question whether we can determine cause and effect. (Contrast these standards with the latest suggestion by Texas Republicans that the state ought to ban the teaching of critical thinking that “challenges [a] student’s fixed beliefs” in schools.)

We could have students develop many of these skills using pedagogy-as-usual: listening to lectures and reading textbooks, looking at a few primary sources, and writing essays. A few students will indeed develop the skills delineated in the California standards through this method. Many more will, if they go on to college, come to me as undergraduates to confess they have always hated history class because it is so boring.

Alternatively, we could have students engage with artifactshistoric siteslandscapes,photographsmemorialspaintingspolitical cartoons, and actual people, as well as withmore traditional documents. We could have them select a topic or theme to research as a class, and then create an online exhibition featuring these objects, places, documents, and more.

 It’s time to do away with content standards in favor of thinking standards

[omissis: see full version]

What if we shifted the standards’ primary emphasis from content, and not to just the development of traditional skills—basic knowledge recall, document interpretation, research, and essay-writing—but to the cultivation of skills that challenge students to make unconventional connections, skills that are essential for thriving in the 21st century? Such skills, according to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Learn and collaborate in multicultural and multilingual contexts
  • Practice thoughtful and effective civic engagement
  • Understand humans’ complex relationship with the natural world
  • Create, refine, analyze, evaluate, and share new and worthwhile ideas—while understanding the real-world limits on their widespread adoption
  • Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work
  • View failure as an opportunity to learn
  • Analyze and understand complex systems
  • Identify and ask significant questions that lead to better solutions
  • Exercise flexibility; compromise
  • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work
  • Evaluate information critically and competently
  • Manage the flow of information from a wide variety of sources
  • Understand the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access and use of information and technology
  • Examine how and why values and points of view are included or excluded
  • Understand and utilize the most appropriate media creation tools, characteristics, and conventions
  • Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS, etc.)
  • Work effectively in a climate of ambiguity and changing priorities
  • Expand one’s own learning and opportunities to gain expertise and demonstrate initiative to advance skills toward a professional level
  • Reflect critically on past experiences in order to inform future progress
  • Set and meet goals, even in the face of obstacles and competing pressures
  • Leverage strengths of others to accomplish a common goal
  • Act responsibly with the interests of the local and global community in mind

Curation—again, old school curation—allows for these skills to emerge.  Because of declining museum funding, small and mid-sized history museums seem to be hiring fewer curators, instead collapsing curation into the functions of two very different departments: collections management (registration and conservation) and education (programming and exhibition development).  By learning the processes that constitute contemporary curation, then, students will need to consider how and why artifacts and ephemera are valued and preserved as well as how best to interpret such objects for audiences ranging from kindergarteners through senior citizens.  They’ll learn how museums prioritize collections, conservation, exhibition, and educational programming in an age of extremely limited budgets.  They’ll have to consider the perpetual triage of artifact conservation in the worlds of underfunded nonprofits and state agencies charged with cultural resource management.  They’ll have to reflect on how to contextualize sometimes controversial objects for diverse stakeholders and communities.

Again, I want to emphasize that curation—despite its popularity as a term among internet marketers and the digerati—is so much more than selection and sharing.  That doesn’t mean, however, that the digital sphere doesn’t offer marvelous opportunities for research, collaborative writing and editing, publication, and engagement.  There isn’t space here to enumerate all the tools available to students—suffice it to say they are legion and ever-changing.  Some examples include digital audio and video recorders, smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, blog platforms, database management software, spreadsheets, image and video editing suites, word processing software, digitized document repositories like the and, document sharing solutions like Dropbox, social networks that students can use to find and contact experts in any topic, and project management sites.

What specifically might students learn from crafting an online exhibit?  Let’s say, for example—as did my students this past semester*—they draw on the collections of a local museum and build an online exhibition in WordPress.

  • organizing a large research project
  • figuring out what questions they should ask
  • finding, analyzing, and evaluating sources—primary and secondary—on a subject that perhaps has not yet been adequately addressed by scholars or curators (or anyone else)
  • photography, perhaps in the limited light of a collections storage facility, and photo editing
  • ownership of objects and images of them, and securing permission to use them
  • the basics of artifact handling, treatment, research, and care
  • interviewing historians or oral history informants
  • interpreting a large and complex subject for a general audience
  • website planning and deployment
  • collaboration—editing, divvying up work, compromising, and more
  • evaluating the utility of mobile devices for group work and public history applications (Each of my students was loaned an iPad 2 for personal and class use for the semester.)

 Training teachers for this new paradigm means new priorities within the history major

Just as teachers-in-training need to learn the best methods to teach content, they need to be taught how to encourage critical and creative thinking in their students.  Of necessity, then, I’ve been approaching my own teaching of the survey courses—required for future history teachers—with a lesser emphasis on dates, events, and individuals (about whom I remember and know very little from my own limited history education) and a greater emphasis on larger trends and the skills used by historians. My students are learning some content—instead of a textbook, I use a primary-source reader in which the sources are accompanied by commentary by historians—but they’re learning it as they perform analysis and synthesis, not before.

So, for example, I don’t have them read them about Puritan conceptions of salvation and then give them photos of headstones and ask them to explain how the headstones reinforce Puritan ideas.  I have them undertake Prownian analysis (description, deduction, speculation, research, and interpretive analysis) of children’s headstones and furniture (e.g,. a walking stool); perform close readings of children’s literature and Puritan poetry, letters,and sermons; and build an argument concerning Puritans’ beliefs about children’s salvation.  As they craft this argument, they must evaluate the usefulness of, as well as synthesize their findings from, these sources, along with earlier ones from the course.  The whole exercise is done in small groups, followed by discussion among the entire class.

In short, if we’re talking about Bloom’s taxonomy, I’m dragging my lower-division students immediately to analysis, synthesis, and evaluation, skipping over basic knowledge acquisition, comprehension, and application.  Furthermore, I’m modeling what I see as best practice in secondary teaching, even though I’m working with first- and second-year undergraduates.

To move beyond the era of content standards, we need to acknowledge—and convey to our teacher candidates—that one need not be an expert in a content area in order to teach it.  We already see this attitude in English classes, where the  literary canon has been in flux for some time. As an English teacher, I wouldn’t need to be an acknowledged expert on, or even a specialist in, Huckleberry Finn to teach it to junior high school students. Instead, I’d need to know how a novel works; I’d need to know how plot, characters, conflict, and other literary devices combine.  Knowing the history is necessary, too, but information about what was going on in the U.S. at the time Twain wrote his novel is only an internet search away.  I need not have learned it at some fixed point way back in tenth grade and filed it away until I required it in my own classroom teaching.

Similarly, as a history teacher, I don’t need to have committed to memory all the players in the nullification crisis of the late 1820s; instead, I need to have a basic grasp of the concept of states’ rights, access to primary sources, and the ability to ask thoughtful questions that connect the primary sources with states’ rights and related concepts. I hand the primary sources (including artifacts, of course) and questions to my students, and if I have taught the students well to examine primary sources, a lively conversation ensues. If students have questions I can’t answer, I ask them where they might research the answers to those questions themselves.

Training teacher candidates how to be curators of digital exhibits on any number of subjects reprioritizes investigation, close reading, analysis, interpretation, and engagement as key skills for a historian—and, I’d argue, for active twenty-first century citizenship.

We must proceed thoughtfully toward digital curation

We have digital tools at hand to effect these changes—and the tools are affordable and multitudinous. That doesn’t mean, however, I’m a cheerleader for the rapid deployment of ed tech-as-usual. As Audrey Watters has highlighted, educational technology is too often perceived by administrators and entrepreneurs as an efficient and low-cost means of content delivery. I’ve been profoundly disappointed in how digital learning has been conceptualized in both higher and K-12 education in my home state of Idaho and beyond, as I suspect it will contribute to declines in cultural literacy and critical thinking anddeprofessionalize K-16 faculty in ways that will prove dangerous to civic life.

Teaching both teacher candidates and students the skills essential to curating an excellent digital exhibition—one that provokes as well as explains, and that invites feedback and interaction instead of being unidirectional—might help to reverse the trend toward McEdTech content delivery.

What are the next steps, then?

Teachers can consider whether they’ve put the content cart before the critical-thinking horse. Do their lessons go beyond knowledge acquisition and basic application, instead moving students quickly to higher-order thinking?  Are the lessons, assignments, and activities challenging?  Do they leave room for the teacher to learn something from the students, so that students can see the value of the knowledge they are creating?

Teachers also can work to overcome their own anxieties about not being an expert in whatever technology students will be using. Some teachers believe we need to be experts on any such technology; others of us believe we need to show students how to research their options, pick a software platform, and figure out how to complete their project using it.  I fall squarely into the latter camp.  While middle school students’ digital curation projects might need to be kickstarted with a list of appropriate technologies, high school students and undergraduates should be expected to research, evaluate, and deploy relevant technologies for their historical investigation and interpretation.

Museums can reach out to schools to let them know what artifact collections might be researched and photographed by students. Museum folks, this is a great way to get some of your artifacts interpreted for a much broader audience—particularly those objects that will likely never go on exhibit.

Ed tech entrepreneurs can work with teachers and students to design platforms that allow for critical and creative thinking to emerge from investigations of a broad spectrum of primary sources: architecture, landscape, artifacts, ephemera, audio and video recordings, photos, maps, art, and more.  Such software is going to be much more widely appealing and broadly adopted than publishers’ packages keyed to content standards that remain inconsistent from state to state.

Tech journalists can ask harder questions of anyone responsible for designing or adopting ed tech software platforms.  How is the software allowing for the development of twenty-first-century skills?  How is it inspiring lifelong learning?  In what ways does it allow investigation to proceed from a student’s personal interests, and to what extent does it allow students to reach dynamic conclusions based on a synthesis of new material and a student’s existing knowledge?

When, for their book The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life, Roy Rosenzweig and David Thelen interviewed 1,500 Americans about their connections to the past and their uses of history, they found that Americans were not particularly interested in consuming traditional historical narratives.  Instead, Rosenzweig and Thelen write,

They preferred to make their own histories.  When they confronted historical accounts constructed by others, they sought to examine them critically and connect them to their own experiences or those of people close to them.  At the same time, they pointed out, historical presentations that did not give them credit for their critical abilities—commercialized histories on television or textbook-driven high school classes—failed to engage or influence them.  (179)

And, in the end, isn’t that what Americans at all points on the political spectrum ought to want—citizens who are curious and willing to engage with each other over the meaning of the past and its interpretation in the present, rather than those who can list the accomplishments of Benjamin Rush, John Peter Muhlenberg, and Jonathan Trumbull Sr.?  Curatorial skills allow for critical thinking, creative thought, and civic discourse to emerge.

* At the time of posting this essay on my blog, the exhibition site my students built is still under construction because I continue to work with students on additional content.  I expect it to be complete by the end of summer 2012.

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(against) #homeschooling #infographic Not the whole story…#kids needs socializing and be exposed to different views

The infographic below, taken from, shows the relatively better performance of homeschooled children as opposed to those attending “regular” school.

Without getting into a discussion of these numbers, my (strong) opinion is that even if they are true (meaning statistically significant once corrected for other variables), they are not “the whole story”.

Kids need socializing, mingling with peers, learning to cope with difficult people and be exposed to difficulties as this is the only way to learn overcoming them. Only “regular” school can provide this.

Also, for society as a whole, kids should be exposed to a wide range of ideas that they will evaluate on their own. Families do and will always play a major role in shaping the children’s attitudes and ideas especially in the early stages. Giving them a complete monopoly in developing the young minds (what happens with homeschooling) tends to reinforce the parents “radical” ideas (religious, political, philosophical etc.) with a risk of producing a “fanatic” of sort.

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Evolution of #Technology and #Education : An #infographic (#edchat #edtech)

The Evolution of Technology and Education Infographic

BY:  | November 17, 2011 for

This infographic does a great job of articulating the transformation that technology has imposed on education. Although I would trade my Macbook for an abacus in a second for the chance to hang out with Socrates, I think most people would agree that education powered by the cloud is much more efficient.

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#edchat What #Canada is doing to close the gap in #education and #school performance

Canada Fast Facts

  • About 40,000 immigrant students come into the Canadian public school system every year, due to Canada’s high rates of immigration per capita.
  • A quarter of the students in Ontario were born outside Canada, and 80% of them are non-English speaking.
  • The large province of Ontario accounts for 40% of Canada’s population; its two million students are funneled into about 5,000 schools.
  • Between 2003 and 2010, Ontario’s high school graduation rate rose from 68% to 79%. The provincial government’s goal is to reach an 85% graduation rate.
  • Every school in Ontario staffs a full-time “student success teacher,” who devotes his or her time to the students who need it most.
  • Despite coming into the country with challenges, immigrant children are typically performing as well as Canadian-born children on the PISA assessment just a few years after their arrival.

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#Singapore #Schools: A worldwide best practice

Singapore is well known for one of the best school system in the world. Obviously each country has different historical, cultural and financial constraints and “models” cannot be always “transfered” fromm one place to another.

It is good to see how things work over there and see if at least some of the solutions that worked there could be transfered in our countries.

Singapore Fast Facts (from Edutopia)

  • When Singapore gained its independence in 1965, most of its population of two million people were unskilled and illiterate.
  • The government invested in education, and by the early 1970s, all children had access to lower secondary education.
  • In 2009, the first year Singapore participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, its students placed near the top for all tested subjects: fifth for reading, second for mathematics, and fourth for science. 
  • Teaching is a highly respected and well-compensated profession in Singapore. All teachers are trained at the country’s National Institute of Education (NIE).
  • All new teachers are paired with experienced teachers for mentoring, and peer feedback is built into the schedule.
  • Teachers are entitled to 100 low or no-cost hours of professional development each year.
  • There are approximately 522,000 students attending about 350 schools in Singapore’s education system.
  • Class sizes are large, especially at the secondary level, averaging 36 students per class.

A short video (a little apologetic but interesting)

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#edchat Use of #make and #makerFaire in #STEM: Motivation and Learning tools (good links to resources)

Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through “Making”

From Edutopia Sept 7, 2012

A few days ago, I visited a math teacher who was busily preparing his classroom for the start of the school year. This classroom, however, was a bit unusual. Casey Shea, who teaches at Analy High School in Sebastopol, California, was transforming an old wood shop into a “makerspace.” With his students’ help, much of the furniture was built from scratch, and the space will soon be filled with students working on projects that might range from solar-powered battery chargers to geodesic domes and a pedal-powered blender.

Casey is one of a growing number of teachers who are incorporating “making” into their teaching methods, and turning their classrooms into makerspaces.

What is making?
The past few years have seen increased interest in making and makers. A maker is someone who makes something — from food to robots, wooden furniture to microcontroller-driven art installations. Makers are typically driven by their curiosity for learning and creating new things, as well as by an interest in sharing their work and processes with others.

Maker Faires are now occurring in cities throughout the world. These gatherings allow makers to exhibit their work, and to gain inspiration, new ideas, and new friends. Online communities where people share their projects and how-to guides are flourishing. There is a sense of play in the maker community. If you wander around a Maker Faire, many of the things you will see are incredibly complex, but also have an element of whimsy to them. More and more families and children are attending these Faires and wondering how they can get started in making.

How does making relate to STEM education?
For the six years prior to joining the Maker Education Initiative, I was an engineering professor teaching engineering to undergraduate students and PK-12 educators. One of the things that struck me in discussions with other engineering professors around the country was how many students had little experience in actually building things. Making is about realizing that you can be a creator instead of just a consumer. At its best, making allows kids to follow their own interests and passions and create something that is uniquely theirs, while applying the knowledge that they are gathering in all aspects of their life.

At a time when many people are asking how we can get more students interested in STEM fields, we are hearing from teachers who have found making to be a great way to get students excited and engaged in their classrooms. We are seeing making occurring in subject classes such as math or science — in classes specifically listed as maker classes — and in a variety of less formal settings such as clubs and study halls. Many of these projects incorporate a variety of STEM topics. Students working on designing and building furniture for their classroom use algebra and geometry to figure out the dimensions. E-textiles and soft circuitry, in which circuits are sewn using conductive thread or fabric, have shown to be an engaging way to teach electronics and programming, especially for young women. The possibilities for ways to incorporate making into the school day are endless, and it is exciting to see what teachers have been developing and sharing.

Students at the Opal school working on emergency shelters. Credit: Opal School teachers and students

One of my colleagues at the Maker Education Initiative, Steve Davee, spent 8 years teaching math and science at the Opal School. Steve is a maker at heart, and is always looking for ways to get his students involved. Not long after Hurricane Katrina, Steve was having a conversation with his fifth grade math class about emergency shelters. Steve realized that his students were truly interested in finding ways to help people impacted by such disasters, and that such a project could incorporate many of the academic standards that he would have to cover in that class, such as volume, fractions, measurements and averages.

His students started creating designs for these shelters in their notebooks and building scale models. The students then wanted to create a full scale model, but didn’t have access to enough materials for an adult shelter, so they decided to build an emergency shelter for preschoolers. After measuring preschoolers, the students went on to collaboratively build a full-scale preschooler emergency shelter, which was quite popular with students and teachers of all sizes! A fourth grader at the school saw this project, and decided that it would be great if the shelter could drive itself to emergencies. In his free time, at school and at home, this student built a prototype of a shelter on a robotic base that could drive itself. When I talked to Steve about this project he stressed that one of the key elements was that it came out of his students truly caring about providing a solution to a problem that they felt was important.

Making is about empowering students to see that they can bring their ideas to life, and create new things. I strongly believe that we are all makers at heart, and that every new project incorporates new learning opportunities. So, I’ll end with a question: what will you make this school year?

Where to find making activities for your classroom
Many makers are willing to share their projects and help others. This has led to a wealth of online resources and project instructions. Some good places to look for project inspiration and instructions include:

Make: Projects is a curated site with a strong emphasis on maker projects, and the Kids and Family section of the Make: blog has projects specifically aimed at young makers.
Instructables has 80,000+ illustrated projects ranging from food to electronics.
The MENTOR Makerspace program has produced a guide for creating a makerspace in high schools.
Makerbot has curriculum for using 3D printing in a variety of subject areas.
Adafruit has tutorials that cover topics such as electronics and Arduino microcontrollers.
The High Tech Low Tech group at MIT’s Media Lab has created a workshop facilitator’s guide for soft circuits.
What other ways can I get involved in making?
Go to a Maker Faire or a Mini-Maker Faire! Maker Faires are gathering where makers share their work. It’s a fantastic place to get inspiration for projects to do with your students. Here is a listing of currently planned Faires.
Look to see if your city has a hackerspace or makerspace. This is often a good place to find the makers in your city.
There are many other great resource sites available, and I encourage you to list your favorite resources and links in the comments!

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