From June 22 – July 24, I led technology projects at Marymount’s Summer STEAM Camp in the awesome FabLab Makerspace at their 5th Avenue campus. It was quite an experience to gather, develop, and run projects for campers with varying skill sets in grades K-5 for five weeks. Also, each grade level had a different and unique theme almost every week, and I challenged myself to plan integrated projects that correlated with their themes.
Thankfully, I regularly attend lots of professional development events including meetings, workshops, and conferences. Plus, I have a pretty big network of people generously willing to share ideas, so the hardest part was to research different options for each week’s topic and narrow down the choices. Blessedly, Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo) was there for the final week of camp to help with crafting automata and laser cutting gears. She’s an amazingly gifted engineer and design thinker who also leads wonderful learning opportunities at The Beam Center (@beamcenterNYC) in Brooklyn and beyond.
I created a GoogleSite of resources and topics which I shared with teachers and parents for the summer. Below is a summary of topics covered, and here is a link to the full site: https://sites.google.com/site/mmtsteamcamp2015
** Inventors and Explorers 1 and Inventors and Explorers 2 **
IE1 and IE2 in grades K-1 were the youngest campers I worked with. They met the least frequently for one or two 45-minute sessions per week. I had a set of iPads available, so after some brief instructions and examples, kids worked independently or in pairs to explore a variety of coding, building, and learning apps including Kodable, Hopscotch, Scratch Jr., Blokify, Tinkerplay, and PrintShop.
** STEAM 1 and STEAM 2 **
STEAM1 campers were in grades 1-2, and STEAM2 campers were in grades 3-4. I saw them for a combined 6 or 7 hours or so during the week in 45-minute and 90-minute blocks to explore:
— Stop-motion videos with the Stop Motion Studio iPad app
— Paper circuits with great instructions from @Exploratorium
— The Toontastic iPad app
— 3D printing with the MakerBot PrintShop and Cubify iPad apps
— MakeyMakey pianos, LED light up plush toys with a sewn-in battery pocket
— Cardboard automata with laser-cut gears and 3-D printed bearings with another set of great instructions from the Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/pie/downloads/Cardboard_Automata.pdf
** STEAM 3 **
STEAM3 campers were in grades 5 and met for about 5 hours a week in 45-minute and 90-minute blocks. Topics explored included:
— DNA with origami and by making LED cuff bracelets where kids’ initials correlated with the color schemes of amino acids
— MakeyMakey pianos and other instruments made with cardboard, conductive materials, and Scratch programming
— Rube Goldberg machines with materials found all over the lab (I showed them Audri’s viral enthusiastic video and OK Go’s This Too Shall Pass music video for inspiration — see below)
— 3D printing with the MakerBot PrintShop, Cubify, 123D Design, and Morphi iPad apps
— Making interactive endangered animal maze games using Scratch programming environment
— Cardboard automata with laser-cut gears and 3-D printed bearings with great instructions from the Exploratorium