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I just got back from Florida and had so much fun facilitating a “Low Floor High Ceiling Workshop” alongside Josh Burker! Josh built this amazing wiki as a resource to which I added ideas for Makey Makey and Paper Circuits.

We stayed true to our maker facilitator background and held this workshop in an open-ended format and let the learners guide their own work. So it was a BLAST! Check out some snapshots of participant’s learning:

Marble runs are always satisfying!

One of my favorite things during the workshop was seeing so many makers make my favorite paper circuit activity from the #bigmakerbook.  While makers were attempting this complicated circuitry, I had an a-ha moment. Even though paper circuits might not seem open-ended, it is a great activity to introduce tinkering, problem-solving, and de-bugging. When makers craft paper circuits, they often have only one or two lights that work at first, so this type of making forces them to tinker to problem solve why their connections aren’t creating closed circuits. Plus, even if they are following a template, the nature of paper circuits allows for some open-ended creativity for incorporating light and interactivity. (Check out this birthday card from one of our workshop attendees!) Lastly, this paper circuit can now be animated with Jie’s new programmable paper circuit “Love to Code” board!!!

Our participants even got to see Josh and I go into mad maker mode when he designed a whimsical Makey Makey instrument inside the wind tunnel, and I hacked a computer fan for Makey Makey spin art. Watch the whole Instagram below:

More on take apart and re-inventing here:

The next day I gave my Keynote on Making and Literacy and explained how Invention Literacy can immerse students in the maker mindset.

I also enjoyed attending sessions and getting even more resources for making with cardboard from Kris Swanson and Vicki Spitalnick!  (And I’m ever so thankful for Kris showing me this vectorizer so I can get my Watercolorbot to be more functional! )

You should add the Pinecrest Innovation Institute to your yearly conference schedule! The Fort Lauderdale campus is beautiful and there will be great learning for all to enjoy. (Plus awesome maker educators like Diana Rendina and Krissy Venosdale are in attendance.)



Wrap Up 2016-Top Posts and #makered Publications

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Top 10 Most Popular Posts for Readers

These are the most visited posts written during 2016!


My Favorite Posts

With two books behind me, I’m looking forward to posting more project ideas on this blog. Some of my favorite posts this year are project oriented and some of them are theory. Here are a few of my favorite that you may not have seen yet.



Articles and Book Published in 2016

The Big Book of Makerspace Projects came out in October 2016. It’s been a blast to see its warm reception by makers and librarians alike. Aaron and I would love to see what you are making from it, so make sure you tag your creations with #bigmakerbook to share with our growing maker community!


To Be Published 2017

Maker Theory Book

Aaron and I have TWO books coming out in 2017! First a theory book that led to a lot of interviews with great tinkerers, makers, and librarians co-written with the awesome Diana Rendina. It should be out late summer and is being published by ABC Clio.

Challenge- Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace

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Maker Project Book

Aaron and I are having a blast making and combining project ideas for this Makey Makey focused book that will be a part of the Evil Genius series published by TAB DIY (a McGraw Hill imprint)! Projects will range from simple to complex and really take you and your Makey Makey #beyondthebanana! You can pre-order the book now, but you’ll have to wait until the summer to start Makey Makey-ing these projects!

20 Makey Makey Projects for the Evil Genius