Before this class, I had never heard of a Maker Faire, the Making Movement or anything about being a Maker. This was new territory for me and altogether quite foreign. I’ve noticed the way my ignorance to this was quieted, was in the way presented by Warren Berger in A More Beautiful Question. My questions weren’t answered right away at all. I could easily identify them, though. Berger points out that questions are a way to navigate through new discoveries (Berger, 2014). Traditionally, questions are asked and answers are given right away. Instead, we dumped a whole lot of questions in what I call a “question-nado.” We somewhat marinated in the questions and came up with more questions, including why the “e” was at the end of “Maker Faire.” We narrowed these questions down to the ten more important ones, and then further still to the final three. Without fully answering these questions yet, we took a tour of the library, where we would be holding our Maker Faire. We asked questions along the way. We saw what resources were going to be available to us.
The answers to some questions were slowly coming as we asked people like the librarian that works with the College of Education, Jill. More answers came as we interacted with Erica in the Maker Space of the library. Then, we went back to the class to come together and discuss our answers into more solid definitions and responses.
We read more articles and did a “Slam” summary of various articles on Making. My favorite description of a Maker Faire was that it’s coming back to the age of the World’s Fair and the idea of tinkering with things (Dougherty, 2012). It’s a look into the potential from what we already have to improve tomorrow. It’s the concept my great-grandmother would repeat, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.”
As my ignorance to the concept of a Maker Faire was quieted, and the realization of what was before us was revealed, my anxiety and anticipation for the impending work load flared. “A Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement” (“Maker Faire,” n.d.). We were going to be putting one on ourselves in less than two weeks. This meant we needed a project that was inventive, creative, resourceful and fit the Maker movement. The Maker movement, you know, the thing I had just learned about. Yes, this class was for sure going to push us.
I learned that the main start of the process is to come up with a problem that needed to be solved. We needed to come up with a good problem to solve and someone to work with. I thought it would be nice to come up with a juicy math-based problem to solve and paired up with Michelle Hiezer. The question we came up with was “What container can I make that will hold the greatest amount of popcorn?” How we did it, and what we did is here.
Through this process, I’ve come to greatly appreciate Maker movement. I learned that working with someone that teaches the same subject isn’t a necessity. My part in our station pulled on my strengths of creativity and strategy. I figured a movie theater theme with popcorn would be visually stimulating and worked hard to get it all going. My local connections served us well with getting popcorn, buckets, and boxes. I learned popcorn takes a long time to bag. Strategizing what to place where, what supplies would be needed, how to post scores on a leaderboard, and the overall flow of our station was exciting to me. I loved seeing what my fellow Makers put on as well. In finalizing my post on Making to Improve Mastery , I learned even more how Making fits into my own classroom.
Making, for me, is summarized by what I discovered the “e” might mean in “Maker Faire.” Faire is a French word and conjugation of to make in the vous form (vous meaning you). Making is all about what you make to make life better.
Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.
Dougherty, D. (2012). The maker movement. Innovations, volume 7 (number 3), 11-14. http://makerfaire.com/makerfairehistory/
Maker Faire: A bit of history. (n.d.). Maker Faire. Retrieved from http://makerfaire.com/makerfairehistory/