What do architects, planning experts, soil engineers, surveyors, mapping experts, bridge designers, aerial photographers, traffic and safety experts, landscape architects, and environmentalists have in common? Read, Bridges! Amazing Structure to Design, Build, and Test by Carol A. Johmann and Elizabeth J. Rieth and let students learn and discover some secrets to building bridges.
As part of our Book Drops for Kids project, this book was selected specifically for the kids at Mary McPherson Elementary in Meridian, Idaho. They have a Little Free Library at their school. I reached out to the librarian and offered to send them a STEM related picture book. She mentioned they have a maker station in their library. While this is not a traditional picture book, it seems perfect for the makers at the school.
One of my favorite projects is on page 29. As a kid, I was fascinated with bridges and wondered how a bridge could be built in a body of water. A cofferdam is a temporary structure to create a dry environment in a body of water so that work can be done. The experiment requires a pan, sand, water, 30 craft sticks, tape, plastic wrap, and a turkey baster. All materials that seem easy to gather.
What are Maker Stations?
I have to admit, I hadn't paid attention to the concept of maker stations. After a little searching I discovered a comprehensive resource called Renovated Learning. Diane Rendina is a media specialist who started a makerspace in 2014 with an old stash of K'nex that were not being used. She has blogged about her journey from an inspired leader to an inspiring leader of the kids she works with in her middle school.
The more I read about the people who lead in schools by creating physical spaces for creativity and innovation the more I am interested to discover more.
What experiences have you had with maker stations?
What about homeschooling, are these kinds of spaces available for you?
Please share stories or resources.
Cup of Leadership...
is a blog for people who lead children.
Deanne Bryce is a writer for young children and an advocate for personal leadership at all ages. This post is part of a project called Book Drops for Kids. The project promotes using picture books to inspire interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) thinking.
At least once a month a picture book is purchased from an independent book store and “dropped” in a little free library to for someone to use. STEM lesson plans for these books are posted on Cup of Leadership. Check the Facebook page to see other books that have been dropped.