Today we were very busy in the library! Tons of kids looking for books and chatting and yes, tinkering. More on that below. Now, at 4:30, it is eerily quiet in here (I am waiting for the kid, who is at volleyball practice). I should be dealing with my inbox, but maybe I’ll make a ritual of reflecting at the end of the day in blog form, at least when I can.
My first task of the morning was to make some signage for the Makerspace–a rules list, and a few little light-up signs for fun. The rules (not finalized yet and definitely need to have an entire sheet/poster devoted to safety):
- SAFETY FIRST
Make sure you have permission before doing anything dangerous–if it says “adult supervision required,” you MUST have adult supervision. You may NOT solder without an adult present and aware!
- SIGN IN and OUT
Limit of 15 people in the Makerspace at any time, unless you have permission from Mrs. LaMontagne.
- CLEAN UP
Leave the space cleaner than it was when you got here! Check the floor and counters, and put supplies in their correct places. Put current projects in bins and on shelves.
- USE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
Only take supplies for your current project(s); leave the rest for others to use!
- BE KIND
Support each other; be kind to each other; help each other. Making involves taking risks and making a lot of mistakes; we need to be able to count on each other for support.
Pretty basic. Today I had a good crew in during both recess and activity period, and they did a good job of cleaning up. Being kind isn’t typically an issue, but a kid had asked me to include that on my rules, so I did!
Safety is the only one I really worry about. What happens when you set a bunch of 7th grade boys loose in a Makerspace with a box of 9V batteries and some hobby motors? Well, they just might see what happens if you put 7 of those batteries together with one of those motors. (Answer: it spins very fast and looks kind of blue from the sparks.) Then they say, “Mrs. LaMontagne! Come see how cool this is!” I agreed that yes, it was cool, but it also was potentially dangerous, and gave a little speech about how they as 7th graders are role models for the younger kids and blahblahblah, and no, we do not put 7 batteries together to see what will happen. I both adore their curiosity and wake up sweating in the night as a result of it. (Not really–they are sharp kids and not likely to ever do anything intentionally dangerous. But I do worry some, and consequently plan to stay in the space or right next to it any time it is open for business.)
Mostly, I am just thrilled that even though it was only day 2 of school, the library was hopping and kids were experimenting and connecting. It’s going to be a good year.