Making happens when the ingredients of children, time, and ‘things-to-make-other-things-with’ are added together. Anyone who has seen what children can do with empty boxes knows this.
Thanks to our initiative to make KCS a Makerspace, and thanks to the generous support of our Annual Giving Fund, there is a lot of making at KCS these days.
Walking through the halls of KCS, there is a buzz of making in every corner. Here’s a small sample from the first few months of school:
- The JK classes have a designated learning centre for making. The challenges change regularly, and the tools for making are varied but include generous donations from Mother Nature. The message is clear – just make!
- The SK classes have had introductory woodworking classes in the outdoor classroom. They’ve used hammers, nails, screws and screwdrivers to make their own wooden creations.
- The grade 3s have been busy making 3D cityscapes with recycled materials, applying their knowledge of structures, and adding generous amounts of imagination
- Twenty students in grades 2 to 4 have enjoyed making their own videogames with Scratch under the guidance of Makerkids. Older students in the TechBlazers club are also making their own video games with Scratch and Gamestar Mechanic.
- We have kicked off this year’s YAKCS program, and one student is well on his way to being a published author. Many others are working on it.
- Our JKs and grade 6 students recently worked together to create their own videos under the direction of Director’s Cut.
- One student, inspired by the littleBits in both the library and science lab, created his first invention. It’s a device that draws perfect circles, called “Draw the Circle Wide”. Many other students have combined littleBits with other odds-and-ends so their creations “do something”. The excitement at the limitless possibilities is palpable.
- The Remembrance Day Club created deeply moving videos and dramatic performances for our ceremony on November 11th.
- Some students in grade 6 have chosen to make exceptional videos on their culture of choice for their social studies project. As part of this project, all the grade 6s also composed music that reflected features of their chosen culture.
- Hearing from their students about the littleBits in the library, various teachers have reached out to ask about how they can incorporate littleBits in their classroom. Two senior students are helping make that happen.
- Several students in grades 6-8 took advantage of the invitation to create a 3D design according to certain specifications, using the online program Tinkercad.
- Our Lego robotics team has been busy designing and programming their robot for the upcoming First Lego League Challenge.
- Our art program has always had students making. Mme Clement’s new videos, which you can see on our social media or access via QR codes, showcase the making behind the final products you see around the school.
- As of next week, some students will be creating robots using the Arduino microcontroller.
It has been a busy first three months on many fronts, as it should be. There has been a lot of what you should expect, including routine-setting, community-building, and instruction in all the usual subjects. There has also been a lot of what you might not expect. It accompanies an excitement that is wonderful to witness. KCS students have the time and ‘things-to-make-other-things-with’. And they’re busy making.
Assistant Head, Academics
You can follow Andrea on Twitter @afanjoy.