See this first picture? Look closely. Looks a mess, doesn't it? Looks like the kids got their hands on their mom's box of junk and dumped it out and are having big fun with it, right?
I would like to correct you, however, because that is not a mess. Oh dear me, no. You have no idea how wrong you are. That photo is an illustration of the very latest in educational trends and buzzwords. That is what we uber-hip educators call a "Maker Space." In a "Maker Space", students are provided with all sorts of materials and tools and are allowed to create and problem-solve on their own and in their own way with no judgments or criticisms. Sometimes they are given a theme or idea to work with and other times they are encouraged to independently create.
"Maker Spaces" go hand in hand with other current educational programs like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and STEAM (or as my husband calls it MEATS - which is what you get when you add Art to the other four subject areas). In the past these topics were referred to as SCHOOL, but we have moved beyond those old-fashioned concepts. Now we make STEAM in large publicly funded buidlings.
In our privately funded "Maker Space" (better known as the kitchen) my kids are using carefully collected supplies (stuff from my junk box) to create independently and artistically engineered structures called Leprechaun Traps.
Leprechaun Traps have become a tradition in our house. After all, what kid wouldn't enjoy creating a trap with candy for bait, hoping that a funny creature called a Leprechaun might be captured and forced to bargain for his freedom with more candy? My kids make their traps in early March and they check diligently every day to see if they have been sprung, It always seems to happen on St. Patrick's Day. It must have something to do with the luck of the Irish.
Happy making, everyone.
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