The Meta-Cardboard Maker Cart

I’m doing a new cardboard construction unit with my 5th graders to introduce engineering design process and hand tool use.They are challenged to design and prototype cardboard furniture pieces that can be used in the school. To inspire them, I built this “meta-cardboard maker cart” for use in their classrooms.

The cart is one half tool cabinet and one half raw materials bin. I aimed for agile and interchangeable storage units in the cart. Swapping out tools and bins quickly will be a big help.

The tool cabinet has shelves, bins, magnetic racks and charging in the base for the power tools. The materials bin in the back has an array of recovered cardboard pieces in varied flutes and geometries for students to build with.

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Pressure Plate Sensor Prototypes

5th graders have hand-coded their Stopwatch programs in Scratch, and now it’s time to build pressure-plate sensors that can activate their timers during a Track-and-Field race. Students are prototyping with MakeyMakey‘s, cardboard, wire, tinfoil, tape, and MakeDo connectors. Some early testing successes and failures are leading to new questions. Go engineers, go!

Epic Invento-Mania! – Integrated Projects Week (IPW) 2014

Once a year we suspend regular classes at The School and break into mixed age groups for Integrated Projects Week, where we focus on student-generated themes and projects. It’s a magical week of hard work and deep learning.

This year Michele Damiano (Science) and I partnered up to deliver “Epic Invento-Mania” with a group of 2nd – 6th graders. We focused on innovation, hands-on learning, and STEAM subjects and encouraged our students to invent, make, and play. The photos below show some great student work such as cardboard arcade games, and all sorts of innovative computer game controllers invented by our group. I just love it when school is like camp!