Here at MakerBox we want to be as transparent as possible about what we are doing and why we are doing it. This is the first of many end of term wrap ups so the community can keep tabs on what we get up to.
We hosted Maker Party Wellington for the second year at the Miramar & Maupuia Community Centre. We love this event because it enables us to connect with the community and those who may not usually attend a technology or science course.
This year we spent time documenting the process of throwing Maker Party Wellington and shared our resources out on GitHub so others can use them to throw their own community pop up events. We will continue adding to this repository throughout the years. In the meantime, here is a Maker Party tutorial that anyone can use to create their own t-shirt designs at home.
You can see the results of the Maker Party participating organisation survey here.
Year 6 Technology | Scots College
In Term 2 Ms Jess worked with the Year 6 boys at Scots College during tech class, teaching them the basics of programming using Scratch. This term we continued the theme in the workshop by designing and building game controllers using the MaKey MaKey. Scots technology teacher Brian Nelson lead sessions in the workshop, whilst Ms Jess lead the planning and design sessions. This project will culminate in an arcade next term where students will show off both their games and their controllers.
We continued our partnership with Rata Studios (formerly known as CPAS). This term we offered another session of our Game Design Adventures course that introduces students ages 9-12 to programming with Scratch.
We also developed a new programme, Game Design: Level Up, that allowed keen beans from last term’s Game Design Adventures course to continue growing their programming skills.
MakerBox and CPAS both offered one scholarship each to individuals who would have otherwise been unable to attend the programmes due to financial burden.
Community is a huge part of what we do. We long to see organisations that do similar work not just survive, but thrive. Along with other local Wellington organisations we have formed the informal Wellington Tech Educators Network. This network exists to provide a channel for us to keep in touch, learn from each other, and support each other on this crazy journey as we teach Wellington. We chose to keep it local so we can focus on what is happening in our neighbourhood and connect with each other through frequent face-to-face meetups.
If you can think of a catchier name, please do let us know.
We hosted three Mars rover building workshops at the Space Place over the spring holidays. We were so excited to be a part of the Space Place’s programming as we greatly value the importance of museums in the education of children and adults alike. These courses brought in a total of 26 students, three of which have attended other MakerBox courses in the past.
These workshops provided the best quote from a child ever:
“You’re like a real engineer, helping everyone fix problems with their rovers.”
MakerBox has been asked to return to the Space Place for holidays over the next year and we couldn’t be happier.
Behind the Scenes
We kept the course-load intentionally light this term as to better focus on some behind-the-scenes upkeep. Internally we have been using this time to implement a proper invoicing and accounting system. We chose Manager for it’s open source nature and because it is Linux compatible. We have also begun to standardise lesson plans in preparation to publish them as Creative Commons licensed resources available for all educators.