What happens when you give kids the chance to build stuff? They come up with some pretty cool ideas! Take the doorbell in an Altoids tin, built by a 12 year-old and posted on do it yourself website Instructables. How cool is that? A middle school student figured out a cool project then took the time to write it up for a website.

I’m working through incorporating more design projects into next year’s classes. The Instructables website, Make: Magazine, and a great book on design engineering will be my major sources. I’ve already done some design in the classroom: cam operated toys, balsa bridges, egg drop containers, and foamcore houses.

My favorite maker from the classroom is Bre Pettis. When he taught 5th grade, Bre wrote an awesome classroom blog that included many projects. He’s now a Make: Magazine podcaster.