[Ed note: This is Kevin’s experience on the Avonworth PTA visit, which Scott Miller recently wrote a guest post about!]
Usually when we teach workshops in MAKESHOP they are for students or groups of teachers. For this particular workshop I got the chance to teach a slightly different audience. Members of the Avonworth School District PTA wanted to have a “making” experience in MAKESHOP. We let them try their luck at building a set of circuit blocks for the Avonworth Primary Center. Building a circuit block is a terrific way to introduce a lot of concepts and processes that have to do with making and creating. The parents got the chance to use both electronics and woodworking tools. They got the chance to repurpose old electronic components. The got the chance to prototype through trial and error. Most of all they got the chance to brainstorm and share ideas with each other.
We talked a lot about doing these kinds of creative projects with students. There is a lot that goes on before and after the activity itself. There is prep work, set up, clean up, etc. We also talked about the benefits of creative projects for kids. An open-ended activity like exploring circuit blocks can give a group of students the chance to create and solve their own problems.
The plan is for this group of parents to help teach and facilitate making at the Primary Center. I am really on board with this kind of partnership with between parents and teachers. I am happy that I got to be a part of this larger initiative.