Mkutano Wa Maker Overview
The school has now held the day for two years. All the parents commented on how much they enjoyed the event and asked when the next one would be. In other words you know this event will be held again. In this post I will share the structure of the day, ideas for activities, and my personal goals for the next one.
Recruiting Teacher Volunteers
The response that I received was extremely overwhelming and I was so impressed by all the people who volunteered. Some even expressed regret that they couldn't commit the time and one even expressed that they didn't want to volunteer because they wanted to take their child to the event. This once again demonstrated how lucky I am to work at the school.
I also want to make it clear, that the day would not have been the success it was without the teacher volunteers. I made it a point to ensure that I thanked them (repeatedly) for their time and ideas.
Structure of the Day
The rough outline of the day included a brief welcome with everyone and 2 activity rotations (each activity lasted 1 hour).
For the second year we modified the schedule to include a break between the activities which allowed for transition time for teachers and families. Below is the final schedule for year 2:
- Lego WeDo 2.0-A chance for parents and students to build robots and program them using a visual block based coding language.
- Robotic Artists-Using markers, papers and a variety of robots (Pro-Bots, Bee Bots, Blue Bots, and Cubettos) students and parents program a robot to draw a variety of images.
- Free Construct-Students and parents were provided a variety of different materials and built whatever they wanted.
Getting Parents on Board
The advertisement included information about registration which was done using a google form (an edited version of the form can be found here).
To facilitate the registration I used FormMule to send reminders to parents about the day. To prepare paper copies of the activity lists I used Autocrat to automate the process.
I have several goals to improve the event for next year including better advertisements. However, a personal goal for the next year is to include elements of the local culture in the day. Kenya has a beautiful history of making using the tools of their environment that I would love to be able to have some form of making from the local culture represented. In fact, if you are planning a school maker day, I challenge you to look at your local culture and see what could be offered to honour and respect the history of the community in which you are living.