Making & DIY Culture

A JanTerm course at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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Course Description

Do you like, or want to learn how to: build and create, take apart and repurpose, use a soldering iron, or work with LED lights? If so, this course is for you! We are looking for inspired makers and DIYers, grades 9-12, who are creative and curious about connecting crafting to electronics. Students will be involved in projects that are self-directed or teacher-led and they may work individually or collaboratively. Projects will be presented to the class as well as the greater school community.

wp-1452203699722.jpgFor instance, we will take an unorthodox field trip to shop at Flea Markets and Home Depot (what? this is school?) to get the materials needed to build a working themed light display. Additional trips and speakers include visiting a makerspace, honing your skills with a variety of tools, and taking your projects to the next level (Going Pro). Join us for this exciting opportunity to CREATE, LEARN AND GROW!

  • Grades: 9-10
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Overnight travel: no
  • Night time events: no

wp-1452203720625.jpgSyllabus

Location: Robinson 120 (aka Dr. Moore’s classroom)
Teachers: Meg Hayes-Golding and Robin-Lynn Clemmons

categories: Reflections, Projects, Mindset – equally weighted

Reflections

Electronic (3 per week) Housed in Schoology Portfolio

  • On videos or articles we assign
  • On project work
  • On fieldtrips/speakers
  • On class norms/mindset
  • On MAKE Magazine articles you read

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Projects

How we grade depends on the project though all will be graded on rubrics. We expect you to submit a report on each project assignment, which can take any form (essay, video, slide deck, etc). There will be approximately three project reports due each week.

(Most of) The projects are:

Mindset

Based on “What is ‘Maker Culture’ and How Can You Put it to Work?” Forbes Magazine & “How to Think Like a Maker” Wired Magazine. We have identified four pillars of the mindset:

  • Be Open
  • Embrace Imperfection
  • Love the Process
  • Build Community

We’ll build class norms at the outset together as a community. The reflection homework assignments will include prompts for students to show how they’re embracing the maker ethos. Have a cookie jar where students can leave attaboys for classmates (such as “Meg spent an hour yesterday helping me solder those tiny NeoPixels.”). Teachers also log evidence of the ethos in action.

The final mindset grade is the combination of all the above elements.

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