Now that some time has passed, I am able to reflect thoughtfully and professionally over the Maker Faire that was held in Durham on Sunday, April 25th.
From a teacher’s perspective, four makers in particular presented things I just “need” to have in my classroom. This is my wish list:
Find reasons and more information about each of my choices after the jump.
“Scrap” from the ScrapExchange
The pre-party for all the makers involved was held at The Scrap Exchange, and I admit I spent over three hours in this creative reuse center perusing all of their wonderful and random items. Some items of interest for potential classroom application range from the obvious to the obscure:
I think either a teacher field trip or student field trip to the scrap exchange could be an amazing creative journey. They have giant blue bins that contain all sorts of random items you knew (and never knew) you wanted and needed. All of their prices are very reasonable, and for a mere $3.50 you can fill a shopping bag size bag with all the bin items you could ever want. The only stipulation is there is a item limit for each of the bins.
Of course a name like Leatherbound Book Works is bound to get an educator excited. The books here are bound by bookbinder and shop owner, Michael Greer. The journals he creates are sure to inspire any child and would make great writer’s or reader’s notebooks. Michael shared that the maps in the stories by famous author J.R.R. Tolkien influenced him to go into book making, and he now even creates his own maps to be included in the pages of the books he binds. His passion for bookbinding makes me want to help my students create their own professional books from scratch, much like this instructables post I found. Have you embarked on a similar venture? I would like to here how your own bookbinding endeavor turned out.
I don’t know how anyone could NOT want a CNC Router. With such a piece of machinery, you could create virtually anything. The ShopBot Tyro is looking to release in the next few weeks for about $3995. Every middle and high school shop class should have one of these in their classroom.
DIY Multi-Touch Screen
Already having a promethean board (which means I essentially have all the more expensive raw materials already available – like a projector and computer), I am VERY much wanting to create one of these to use in my classroom. Can you imagine fifth graders working together with such a surface to share and create? It would be impractical to use everyday, but this surface makes it ideal for groups to share computer resources. The software is open-source (free!) and active support is available through the NUI Group Community.
Overall, I think the best impression that any teacher, or person, can take away from the Maker Faire is that if you can dream it, you can create it – so go out there and make!