Enhancing Inquiry In The Classroom Using Makerspace Products

Ashley Gamlin

Inquiry-based learning is not a new idea, but has gained resurgence in education trends accompanied by the makerspace movement. Inquiry-based learning approaches across all content areas often pair well with the makerspace movement. It is said that “An inquiry-based curriculum can increase student achievement and narrow the gap between high- and low-achieving students” (Towns & Sweetland, 2008). Furthermore, maker-centered projects naturally differentiate and are accessible to all students (Mitchell, n.d.). Incorporating maker activities into your inquiry-based lessons is an easy addition that will enhance student curiosity. Read on for new ways to incorporate makerspace products into inquiry-based lessons.

Maker Education in the Content Areas

Tell Stories

Students can use makerspace products to tell a story.

Bloxels
Create video games by creating characters and adding content.

  • Check out these students using Bloxels to create a game including content about Presidents they have researched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgaXy_3m1Ac.

Sphero
Use coding to create patterns of movement, sound, and lights.

  • Students can make storytelling come alive with a makerspace version of reader’s theater.

Present Information

Makey Makey
Making common materials into a keyboard where students can present information in a fun way.

  • Add makerspace to your living museum presentations by creating keyboard buttons for information.

Create and Design

LEGO® Bricks / Keva Planks / K’nex
Building materials give students the opportunity to design and create.

  • Students can use building materials to build replicates of national monuments.

Chibitronics Circuit Stickers

  • Students study the properties of electricity.
  • Illuminate your work by using circuits to light up paper creations.

Cardboard / Art Materials
Create prototypes of ideas for students to learn and explore.

  • Using available materials, students can create a vehicle and measure the distance it can travel.
  • Use Makedo Cardboard Construction Toolkit to help easily construct designs with Cardboard.

Collaboration & Communication

Twenty One Toys
Students communicate and work together to create a similar product. Use Twenty One Toys to introduce working together and communication skills.

  • Engaging way students can explore communication skills.

References

Towns, R., & Sweetland, J., Dr. (2008). INSPIRED ISSUE BRIEF: INQUIRY-BASEDTEACHING. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from http://inspiredteaching.org/wp-content/uploads/impact-research-briefs-inquiry-based-teaching.pdf

Mitchell, Paula. WHAT’S MISSING FROM THE MAKER MOVEMENT IN EDU. Retrieved September 14, 2018, from
https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/83465

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