Making as Learning: Houghton Lake

Created with flickr slideshow.

We kicked off our first three-day workshop June 15 – 17 at the Houghton Lake Public Library. Thank you to Kimberly Young, library director, and Sarah Maddox, youth librarian, for hosting us!

From designing the ideal work bag to making playdough circuits light up, making robots run to talking about making for those with special needs, 3D modeling and printing to designing our mission, we had a great time in this deep-dive into the why and not just the what of making.

Here is some of what we learned from our peer participants:

  • Making can be a way for those with disabilities to show what they can do.
  • Shifting kids from adult-directed activities and into open-ended, student-directed activities can be tough!
  • Prototyping is a lot of fun (and can even inspire the occasional runway show)!
  • Putting people with different jobs but similar missions together can create synergies.
  • Some people have really interesting hobbies at home (quilting, making log furniture)!
  • Hands-on skills can lead to real jobs.

We even got to meet (or see again) some kids and families at our community-focused Houghton Lake MakerFest. Not only could families see a 3D printer in action, make a marble maze, play with LEGO and K’Nex, make a Shrinky Dink souvenir, drive a robot, or make a Squishy Circuit, but they could go outside to see the mobile science lab from Saginaw Valley State University. There, they could peer into the microscopic world of butterflies and water; see the SVSU drone; learn about soil and other environmental testing; and meet some skilled professors eager to share their world with them.

You can view our activities by clicking through the slidesĀ above (or visiting our Flickr album).

Day 1 SlidesĀ 

Day 2 Slides

Day 3 Slides

Next week, we head across the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula and Pickford, the smallest town on this year’s road trip.

If you’d like to join us at a future workshop, we’d be glad to have you! You can find our complete calendar here.

Hope to see you soon!


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