Making from Scratch

Students enrolled in the Research Skills and seventh-grade Project Beyond programs at H.B. Thompson Middle School recently participated in their first Maker Faire Day, a festival of invention inspired by the “maker movement,” which calls for the creation and marketing of products that are recreated and assembled using unused, discarded raw materials, including computer parts.

HBT students were given boxes filled with a variety of materials, including cardboard boxes, egg cartons, old floppy discs, plastic bottles, straws, little toy cars and a lot of tape. They were asked to explore the materials available, collaborate with their groups and create an art piece or invention with what they were given. Students planned, innovated, encountered challenges and exchanged ideas with each other in order to create something new. The wide range of creations included a life-sized model of the Statue of Liberty, various art pieces representing important humanitarian issues, models of cars, robots, energy-efficient buildings, working catapults and marble run structures.

Maker Faire Day at HBT not only provided students with an opportunity to be creative and experience “making,” but also allowed them to connect the experience to this year's theme for National History Day: Exploration, Encounter, Exchange. Students did an outstanding job of exploring different possibilities with their materials, encountering and overcoming challenges, and exchanging ideas with their peers.