A Makers Camp will be held in Columbus next week for USD 493 junior high students. The camp will be held from 9:00 to 1:00 on December 18, 19, and 20, at the Crossland Heavy Construction building at 501 S. East Avenue and is open to local 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. A $25 fee is required but need-based scholarships are available. The registration form is available through the link above.
The maker movement is about teaching and learning that is focused on student centered inquiry. “There are essential elements of educating young people to become innovators: the value of hands-on projects where students have to solve a real-world problem and demonstrate mastery; the importance of learning to draw on academic content from multiple disciplines to solve a problem; learning to work in teams” (Wagner & Compton, 2012).
At the Columbus Makers Camp, students will have the opportunity to experience hands-on demonstrations of computer circuitry and coding, drones and their use in photography, laser engraving, graphic design, woodworking, vinyl cutting, needlework, and 3D printing. Each student will have the opportunity to laser engrave a water bottle to take home; DEPCO Enterprises of Pittsburg, Kansas, is generously providing the laser engraving equipment needed for this activity. Another class will involve students working in teams to use Arduino kits. Arduino is an open-source hardware and software company, project, and user community that designs and manufactures single-board microcontroller kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control objects in the physical and digital world. Arduino board designs use a variety of microprocessors and controllers. The Arduino project started in 2003 as a program for students, aiming to provide a low-cost and easy way for novices and professionals to create devices that interact with their environment using sensors and actuators. Common examples of such devices intended for beginner hobbyists include simple robots, thermostats, and motion detectors. NetWork Kansas provided funds to purchase the Arduino kits. Students will also visit two local businesses that utilize innovative technology daily: Team Threads and Vital Signs.
A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library, or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring, and sharing that uses high-tech to no-tech tools. These spaces are open to kids, adults, and entrepreneurs and have a variety of maker equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines. The maker mindset of creating something out of nothing and exploring individual interests is at the core of a makerspace. These spaces are also helping to prepare those who need critical 21st century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). They provide hands-on learning, help with critical thinking skills, and even boost self-confidence. Makerspaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups.
Sponsors of the Columbus Makers Camp are KissTECH, the Cherokee County Economic Development Commission, K-State Research and Extension Cherokee County 4-H Program, and Crossland Construction. For more information, contact Liz Simpson of Crossland Construction at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-674-1459.