The workshop got off to a great start with attendees travelling from as far as Ypsilanti and Frankenmuth to join us. We discovered that Alpena houses NOAA’s Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center and we were joined by the Education Coordinator as well. The news of underwater robotics competitions and tours of shipwrecks made us realize we were in a very special place indeed.
On day one, we discussed the fundamental concept of making and the conversation on the community and its needs were particularly fascinating. From hosting underwater robotics competitions to artisanal quilts and tapestries, the community had a diverse group of individuals constituting it.
On the next day, we explored many different types of maker activities and tools. These included both high tech tools like arduinos and low tech activities like glass etching.The activities with strawbees was so soothing and fun that we had a room full of people silently engrossed in their creations. A special thanks to Nancy, the IT (and strawbee) specialist at the Alpena Library, for arranging this activity. We also found the time to play a round of the design thinking game. What a fun, creative group of individuals! The two teams jumped in with gusto and came up with some amazing ideas, and their fun product pitches had us in splits. We had a soldering workshop to create paperclip sculptures, an activity right in the center of technology and art.
On day three, we covered ways of assessing open ended maker activities and revisited the missions from day one.The impromptu walking tours, the glass bottom tours of shipwrecks, the Maritime Museum and the wonderful hospitality left us wanting to stay longer. A big thanks to Jessica Luther at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library for inviting us and giving us this wonderful experience.
Shelly attended our Houghton Lake workshop and added so much excitement to our days! With a grant from the Missaukee Area Community Foundation, she’s launching a makerspace at her school, Northern Michigan Christian School.
The project was recently featured in the Cadillac News and features the quote above. You can access it via free registration or by opting to watch an ad prior to accessing the entire article.
Hello, Nottawa/Centreville Making as Learning attendees! Here are the slides, and some selected images from our Flickr feed for the event (found here).
I want to take a moment and thank some of the parties, on behalf of our team, that made this workshop possible. First and foremost I’d like to thank Carrie Brueck of the Nottawa Township Library for applying and inviting us to come to her area. I’d also like to thank Glen Oaks Community College for their flexible space for us to occupy over the course of our 3 days there. And finally, I’d like to thank our attendees for making this event so great by participating and sharing their insights!
It’s been a couple weeks since our workshop at Houghton Lake ended – but we are still riding high off the thrill of our interactions with the educators and librarians we met there. We were so pleased with how the workshop went, and with the great ideas that were shared there.
We loved the energy of our participants, and their willingness to engage deeply with ideas. The small size of the group allowed for personal conversation and relationship-building and networking with participants. We expect that the great relationships and enthusiastic attitudes we saw during the workshop are going to translate into some exciting new maker initiatives in local schools and libraries!
One of the many highlights of this workshop were the small group activities. We were particularly impressed with the thoughtful, thorough designs we saw during the design-a-bag activity. The board game activity also allowed the groups’ creativity to shine.
A huge thank you to the Houghton Lake Public Library and our hosts Sarah and Kimberley, and to all the amazing folks who attended and helped make this event a success!