More makerspace…

This blog is my more “unofficial” makerspace site. Our other one is at
So please look at this site for a more extensive coverage of our library makerspace activities.

We offer 2 makerspace programs. The one called Makerspace runs in our McAuley Library before school and at lunchtimes. All students are welcome, but most attendees are in Years 5 or 6.

The other program is called Cre8 Lab, offered in Potter Library at lunchtime, mainly in the first 4 weeks of each term. It offers more complex activities, so students sign up for these and they usually require commitment to several lunchtimes, or more. Some of these activities are limited to certain grades due to complexity.

We also endeavour to connect makerspace activities into classes, so this does happen regularly e.g. 3D printing and El Wire in secondary Home Economics, 3D printing with ICT classes, various makerspace crafts with Year 5 and 6, often involving electronics and 3D printing, and stop motion with Arts students.

Term Unit on Sustainable Housing

Term 2 2018
Lesson planning Year 8 STEM Fix IT – Engineering a Greener Future
With the world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, solutions are needed around affordability, sustainability and energy efficiency. This unit promotes future skills, spatial skills and new careers directions in STEM fields, including Energy Engineering, Resource Management, and 3D printing. This unit also contains a focus on STEM careers for females.

1: Small Problem: Introduction to Unit, Careers focus and Project Management, and Design Thinking Model .

2 Apply design model to “Small Problem:” school bags getting mixed up. Allocate students to groups. Explore problem in group. Learn 3D printing design skills using Tinkercad
3 Explore career of Project Manager. Design name tag using Design Thinking Model. Reflect on solutions.
4 Big Problem: Sustainable Housing What is sustainable housing? Introductory PPT (See, Think, Wonder on Film Shorts about dystopian futures). Explore difference between needs and wants. Idea of aesthetic Outline key Careers: Renewable Energy Engineer, Materials Engineer, Environmental Engineer
5 Introduction to concept of eco-village. Watch Kevin’s Grand Design Episode 2 . What problems does he face building an eco-village? Consider why it is hard to change people’s thinking.
6 Look at Eco-village examples. Allocate new groups. Assign careers to each group member. Check students can install Minecraft. Give back 3D printed tags. Reflect on careers in 3D printing. and past student Maureen Ross

7 In groups research sustainability online using research template. Research headings: Energy and efficiency: products; Energy and efficiency: design, Building materials:new; Building materials – renewable, recyclable; Construction methods and design. Each student in group takes on different career role for research.

8 Review group research from own group and rest of class. Groups identify list of sustainable features they will apply to own eco-village. Review terminology and concepts e.g. net zero, ventilation, insulation, composting toilets etc.
9 Group research using print books and online resources. Focus on small sustainable houses. Reflect again on needs and wants. List of feature to consider e.g. energy, waste, water, space management etc.
10 Explore passive solar design. Do activity using torches and boxes to consider effect of sun and shading at different times of the year.
11 Further exploration of passive solar design options including thermal mass, ventilation, orientation.
12 Class discussion of ‘sustainable house design rules’ for individual houses (eg. Two stories max, only contain necessary areas, passive solar design etc.
Groups develop eco-village rules and rules for individual houses in the eco-village.
13 Explain scale. Each student sketches up individual house design. Then design this on grid paper to scale 1cm =.75 metres
Students place their house design on the tables. Then divide into careers and rotate around each table to give peer review of houses using post it notes to comment on one positive and one improvement of a peer’s design.
14 Look at Vicker Ridge Reduce individual house scale by half so 1 cm = 1.5 metres. Make walls thicker for Minecraft – if full blocks – walls will be 1 cm so need some adjustment on grid paper. Cut out house. Show how to use this scale for eco-village.
15 Eco-village design. Groups receive paper layout of housing plot using grid paper (45.9 cm by 49.5 cm). Students design eco-village in groups and should be able to justify their decisions.
16 Look at each eco-villages that groups have designed. Review design and improve. Plan design process – who does what in minecraft
17 Explore resources on “Throwaway Society.” Stimulus activity in groups
This lesson, students who are inexperienced with Minecraft skills receive peer training from another student.
18 Look at recent recycling challenges Sweden (also Denmark) Burning rubbish to generate power and
Look at changing careers and
Revise online rules for behaviour in Minecraft. Design eco-village in Minecraft
19 Design eco-village in Minecraft. Check each groups progress and provide feedback.
21 Design eco-village in Minecraft. Apply Council checklist. Revise
22 Design eco-village in Minecraft
23 Install signposts in Minecraft of sustainable features.
24 Apply checklist for eco village

25 Create presentation, write script in groups
25 Create presentation, write script in groups, practice.
26 Presentation of Minecraft world to class in groups. Students play role of one of the key careers and justify their choices in the design of their houses and their development
27 Reflect on presentations. Reflect on Careers with STEM
28 Unit evaluation and reflection
Reflect on collaboration skills, housing design, peer review etc.29 Reflect on Cognitive Verbs, Future Proof skills, Design Model and Spatial Thinking. Reflect on careers. Sustainable House Building game: may only work in Internet Explorer
30 Guest speaker

Number of lessons usually closer to 25 in most terms, so adapt according to term length. The unit is for one term, 3 Lessons per week each about 50 minutes long.
Unit uses MinecraftEDU flat world. Stored on school’s own servers. Accessible at home and school. Has teacher monitoring and control functions.

Samsung Gear 360 & Google Expeditions

360 Video with Samsung Gear 360
Connect the Samsung Gear 360 to the iPhone iOS and
Samsung’s new Gear 360 camera shoots in 4K and works with iPhones
New Samsung Gear Review
Tim Gentle’s
Google Expeditions kits
Google Expeditions in class
6 Apps for Virtual Reality Field Trips Including Google Expeditions