#MVMiddle Makes!

This afternoon, our STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Maker) Coordinator led middle school faculty members through an awesome activity in one of our school’s makerspaces. Amy Wilkes (@amymwilkes) did a great job orchestrating this event, bringing about 15 middle school teachers together in the summertime to make and learn together.

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Amy started the session by briefly outlining the three areas of the makerspace: joinery, agency, and platform. She briefly shared the purposes of each section and excitedly pointed out some of the cool tools we can use with students. To really hook us into the concept of making vinyl stickers, Amy showed us some of the stickers that fellow makers have designed. I was fascinated by the examples we saw and our discussion of how the vinyl cutter works by removing, or subtracting, material to make a ‘negative.’ Once we had a basic understanding of how vinyl cutting works, Amy invited us to participate in today’s task: create a vinyl sticker that inspires someone.

Teachers jumped right in, eagerly following Amy’s instructions to download the Silhouette software. I really appreciated how Amy gave us a brief overview of the software and ended her short tutorial by saying “Now you try, and if you find something really cool, show your neighbor.” And we did! The room buzzed as teachers played around with images, asked each other questions, and learned new tricks. I loved witnessing teachers’ excitement today, hearing them share ideas about designing their stickers and transferring this newfound skill to their own classrooms.

Although I had to scoot out for another meeting before I could print my sticker, I have included the rough idea of it below. I can’t wait to get back into the makerspace to bring it to life!

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