Recommendations for the Winter Camp:
Following the Enterprise Camp last week and taking into account the reflections I made, I have compiled a list recommendations I think we should take into account when organising the Winter Camp in December/January:
It is important we get in contact with secondary school teachers and in particular Transition Year teachers as soon as the school year resumes so we can discuss with them what learning outcomes we should expect from our makerspace session and how do we evaluate what they have learned. Teachers have the experience and the knowledge to help us with this question and it will also help us to write up our first lesson plan.
It was noted by all three mentors that the students required more structure and instructions in order to get the task done. Some of the students found it challenging to come up with ideas and the vast majority went with the first idea that came into their head. They struggled with the concept of coming up with lots of ideas and narrowing it down to one using the prototyping technique. The activity sheets like we used as part of our design thinking workshops would be very useful for the makerspace session going forward. Instead of getting them to work in groups of five from the beginning we could get them working in pairs and the problem is something they chose themselves so that it is more relatable to them. By going through the process in more detail and at a much slower pace, I feel they would get more out of it and enjoy it a lot more.
We expected them to learn too much in this makerspace session which lasted only 90 minutes! The next camp should be either spread over a week with a couple of hours each day or else it should be a full day or even two full days if we want them to build prototypes.
In order to introduce the UDOO kit and other technologies it is essential we have more mentors we the upcoming Winter Camp we plan to implement. We should go about recruiting these mentors and training them how to use the technology ASAP. We should look to get mentors from the Nimbus Centre, Media Communications Department and the Engineering Department. I do think if we are looking for mentors however that there should be something for them to gain out of it too and this is something we should all sit down and discuss.
Only certain materials in the kit were used so we could make the kit smaller to just include paper, pencils/markers and playdough or we should find a better way of encouraging the students to use most or all of the materials. Some materials weren’t even opened (they asked could they use some materials because they weren’t taken out of the packet). They were still stuck in the school mind-set of “asking the teacher first”.
I think the teams may work better if we assigned each team member with a role or if we gave the teams a list of roles and they had to decide who was responsible for each role themselves. It would give the team more structure and it may help the teams where only one or two members were actively involved in building the prototypes, sketching etc. With roles, each team member would be given something they had to do.