We All Have a Maker Hiding Inside

As a young girl, I remember watching my father spend hours out in the garage working on projects.  Some projects would be small, like tabletop puzzles that he created on the scroll saw; while others, were large like my captain’s bed, complete with under the bed pull-out drawers for storage. I would grab all the extra little bits of wood that were left over and take them to my own little workshop area.  I would make dollhouses, doll furniture, ramps for my little brother’s cars and just about anything else that I could manipulate with the little wooden pieces.  My mother was a seamstress and she would make lots of our clothes, make doll clothes for my dolls, as well as, working at the local tailor on the Air Force Base, hemming pants and sewing on patches or badges for the enlisted men and women. Well guess what?  I also learned how to sew and began making puppets and doll clothes myself.  Little did I know I was “A MAKER” and a “STEAM”er.  Fast forward to today and I am in the midst of what we term the “Maker Generation.”

Discovery Education and Stanley Black & Decker have teamed up to create the Innovation Generation – Making an Impact program, bringing the exciting world of ‘making and doing’ to classrooms nationwide.  This STEAM-focused, cross-disciplinary program invites students and educators to explore their worlds through building, making, and doing. On Thursday, March 28th, a Virtual Field Trip (VFT) was held by Discovery and Stanley Black & Decker taking viewers into a Stanley Black & Decker Makerspace where making and doing is a way of life!  This VFT was unlike any other with the added element of a high-stakes competition! Two student teams put their STEAM skills to the test as they worked through the design process to brainstorm, build and test crash-test-car prototypes! The teams were guided by Stanley Black & Decker professionals serving as coaches, while also highlighting Makerspace equipment and talking about STEAM careers in action. 

You can now watch the VFT on-demand here: https://www.innovation-gen.com/virtual-field-trip.Oh and did I mention, there is a Virtual Field Trip Educator’s Guide that anyone can download.

Within this guide, teachers can find the addressed Next Generation Science Standards and targeted Objectives to assist them in their lesson plans and documentation.  Additionally, materials required and activities for completion are explained for use prior to and after viewing the VFT.  The accompanying curriculum guided questions and graphic organizers are a great addition, allowing any teacher to direct students into a deeper conversation about the information being presented. During the VFT, a live twitter feed was being used with these specific tags/labels: @StanleyBlkDeckr    #InnovationGenVFT
Take some time to search for these feeds in Twitter and find out what others were saying during the VFT. 

Wait there is one more thing I forgot to mention…. The Innovation Generation also sponsored a competition with online voting to nominate a school to win their own $25,000 Makerspace from Stanley Black & Decker.  We will find out who the winners of this year’s contest will be when they are announced sometime after March.

Written By: Conni Mulligan