Global Maker Day has been a national phenomenon since 2016. It is a day dedicated to learning, sharing, and making. This year at Powhatan, we decided to turn one Maker Day into three! All this week, every class took part in a 45-minute STEM challenge in our Makerspace.
Eighth graders in Mr. Funk’s math class started out Day 3 of Maker Week with a Bridge Building Design Challenge. Bridges must span 17 inches and contain 3 geometric elements:
At its core, a Design Challenge is simply a problem that needs to be solved. A true design challenge has a range of solutions. Every bridge design in this activity was different from the next. The variation in overall design made for an open-ended experience – not a cookie-cutter-follow-directions-activity. “An activity like this is a wonderful reminder that we learn through failure,” says Mrs. Miller. “It’s important for students to keep a positive attitude and have a growth mindset.” This provides for plenty of creativity, communication and problem-solving.
Critical Thinking and collaboration are at the forefront of this Design Challenge activity and is a great example of how this unique classroom, The Bessette Family Makerspace, opens up a world of possibilities for learning and challenging students.