Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

I like our textbook, “Invent to Learn,” but I have some issues with chapter 11 or “Make Your Own Maker Day.”  As a principal, managing, planning and publicizing events is part of what I do.  Chapter 11 basically gives you every idea, technique and advice on how to plan a Makerspace event.  If you are going to plan a Makerspace event, please don’t take every piece of advice Martinez and Stager give.  If you do, you will have the largest, most overplanned event in the history of your town.  I guess, if your goal is to have a huge, overplanned event that takes lots of work and effort to pull off, then go for it.  Good luck on planning your next event or encore.

Of course, I think the point is to create a huge, national event in as many places as possible.  This is very apparent in the “Day of Making” website which is basically an advertisement for a Maker Day.  There are also great videos and article explaining what a Makerspaces are and what they produce. You can find it at http://makezine.com/day-of-making/.

In the “Final Maker Day Toolkit,” the University of British Columbia has produced a 49-page guide for planing a Maker Day.  Our textbook only gives us 7 pages.  These Makerspace people don’t mess around.  For our purposes I will try to summarize what our textbook suggests for planning a Maker Day.

Martinez and Stager suggest the following ideas for planning a Maker Day at your school:

  1. Involve kids every way possible
    • Let them plan activities
    • Make posters
    • Run the classes
    • Make the materials for the day of the event
  2. Marketing, marketing & marketing
    • Decorate your room with examples of Making
    • Send information to TV, newspaper, radio and more
    • Use social media
    • Have kids send personalized notes to people they know
    • Rent roadside billboards and pay people to spread the word on social media (Just kidding on this one, but if you have the money…..)
  3. Scheduling is important
    • Start of with a bang and an exciting hands-on beginning activity
    • Keep things moving
    • Have lots of different types of activities
    • Highlight other areas of your school
      • Let the school band or choir perform at the Maker Day
  4. Materials
    • Make sure you have enough materials (Plan for more than you think you will need)
    • Break out the cool stuff
      • Let people use the wearable computing, robotics and other neat stuff
  5. Make good use of bringing all these people together
    • Use this opportunity to find experts who may be able to help in the future
    • Fundraise at the event if possible
    • Publicize what you are doing by getting photos, videos and articles out to the public and your website
  6. Wrap it up
    1. Announce the next event
    2. Clean up
    3. Thank your volunteers, presenters and sponsors

Having a Maker Day sounds like a lot of work, but also like a very fun event.  Good luck with your planning!

Resources 

Day of making. Make:. Retrieved on 7-9-17 at http://makezine.com/day-of-making/.

Maker day 2014. (2014). The University of British Columbia. Retrieved on 7-9-17 at http://www.itabc.ca/sites/default/files/docs/discover/Final%20MakerDayToolKit.pdf.

Martinez, S. L. Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.

 

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By waclawskid

6 comments on “Week 9: What would you need to coordinate a “Maker Day” for your school?

  1. I agree that the idea of a Maker Day is to get as many places as possible having events to introduce the idea of making to the world. I can only imagine if everyone celebrated Maker Day, there would be a much stronger following for makerspaces, and possibly more support and funding.

    I think that for me, the most important aspect of planning of Maker Day is getting students involved to the point that they are really the ones putting on the event instead of me. I like that this is the first thing that the textbook mentions about throwing a Maker Day event. Great summary!

  2. I agree that some Maker Day plans and advice are too large and complicated to get your head around what it could look like especially in a small rural town. The points that you have highlighted from the book are very practical and helpful for planning a Maker Day. In my opinion it is most important to have students involved in the planning or in the presentations of the day. Do you think you will ever point on a Maker Day in your school?

    • It is possible, but not probable that we will put on a Maker Day. Our Makerspace will be school based and will not be open to the public on a large scale. I think we can start a viable Makerspace without a Maker Day.

  3. I agree with you about the textbook, but that is what the authors are promoting and are hoping takes off even more than it already has. I think starting small and creating a demand for more would be better. Happy planning.

    • I agree that starting small is a good plan. I think a Maker Day would make sense if you were trying to open a large Makerspace and needed public support. I think for a smaller, school based program a Makerspace would be over kill.

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