Making and Innovating Through the Winter

We have been busy this trimester in the Innovation Studio. My goal has been to incorporate making activities in each grade level and as a result there have been some great projects! Here is a brief recap of some of my favorites:

First Grade- Monster Traps


Our first grade students participate in a Global Collaborative Project called Monster Exchange every year. The students draw monsters using Pixie and then I type the descriptions and send them to our partner school in Izmir, Turkey. Those students must redraw the monsters using only the descriptions and we do the same for their monsters. As an extension to the project I had my students design and build monster traps using recycled materials in our Innovation Studio. The students LOVED the project and ask me if they can make things every time they come to technology now!

Second Grade- Weather Inventions


Second grade students participate in a Weather Pals project every winter where they team up with other schools on the east coast and post the local weather, questions and answers about the weather data and film a weather broadcast that is shared via a project Wiki. This year we started the project early so that I could introduce Little Bits and have each group invent something that could help a person during a particular season. We had everything from leaf blowers to hot chocolate stirrers and I was blown away by the creativity that my students exhibited. We incorporated the inventions into our weather broadcasts so that they could be seen by everyone.

Third Grade- 3D Printed Candy Inventions


Third grade students read “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in their classrooms and as an extension for writers workshop their teacher had them invent 5 different types of candy that Willy Wonka might sell. To take it to the next level a parent that does marketing for a living came in and presented the steps for selling an invention to someone. The students then chose one of their inventions to “pitch” to Willy Wonka in a Shark Tank-like scenario. We decided it would be incredible to bring one of the candy inventions to life with 3D printing! Students just completed a 3 week TinkerCad tutorial session through Project Ignite and are now ready to design and print their candy inventions to share with family and friends.

TK and 5th Grade Buddies build Robots


One of my favorite TK projects every year is the TK Robot project where the students design and build giant robots using recycled materials, paper mache, paint and other decorations. The students then make up a story to go along with their robot and every year without fail, the TK students say their robot can “do something” such as blow bubbles, make breakfast etc. This year I decided to make that dream a reality. Their 5th grade buddies interviewed each TK students about their robot to get a sense of it’s “personality”. They were then asked what they wanted designed for their robot that could either light up, make a noise, or make a small movement. After the interviews were complete the 5th graders got to work using motor, LEDs, buzzers, battery packs and anything else they needed to build the accessory. We had propellers that spun, hair bows that lit up, jetpacks on superpower capes and many other adorable additions. The TK students were so excited and proud to share what “their 5th grader” made for their robot during the all school assembly. I think a new tradition has begun!






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