Archive for the 'Passions' Category

Planning a new Passions genre: the DIY Studio

As Tarrey has already mentioned here on the blog, one of the first things that we thought of when we decided we wanted to experiment with making and DIY at the Project School was how we could us Passions – three week long classes the school runs that give kids a chance to dive deeply into something they care about. As Christian, Tarrey and I started planning, we realized that one thing we could do was to create a new “genre” of Passions all around DIY and maker work, sort of a themed series that kids who get into it could easily identify. We’re calling these “DIY Studio” passions, giving a nod both to the do-it-yourself aspect of maker work that will be found in all of them, but also to the nature of the space we’re trying to create – a place where kids are encouraged to experiment, tinker, share and give feedback to each other on their creations, much like artists do in a studio setting.

Our first experiment, which we’re planning on kicking off at the end of January when the next round of Passions starts, is the DIY Sound Studio. We’re going to use the theme of sound to create a set of compelling tinkering kits that kids can use to start making. So far we’ve thought up a number of fun sound oriented activity kits:

  • soundHomemade Speakers
  • Non-electronic Vinyl Record Players (using needles, cups and chopsticks!)
  • Inventive Instruments using Makey Makey, which lets you turn regular objects into an interface for your computer
  • Homemade Model Ears
  • Sound Visualizations
  • Using Audacity to generate new types of sounds

The kits and associated activities are still in the ideation phase, but we think they’ll be pretty neat. We’re going to test each of the kits ourselves and then come to a final set to pilot during Passions.

The broader idea for the DIY Studio is that it can then extend into other areas – DIY Circuit Studio, DIY Architecture Studio, DIY Mapping Studio, etc. Each can explore making through a different theme keyed to different areas kids might be passionate about. And with each one, we’re hoping to build a culture of making, tinkering and sharing not just among the kids, but also among all the teachers here at BPS. Ideally, the DIY Passions serves a space where BPS teachers can build the capacity to think creatively about how to bring maker work into other parts of the curriculum.

Looking forward to sharing things as they develop!

Rafi