Earlier this week, Ms. O’Brien’s Kindergarten class followed a blueprint, took measurements, and built two ballet barres with the help of Mr. Louie.
Ms. O’Brien shares:
Our class chose dance as their focus for the class emergent study. This study is based on the girl’s questions, observations, and interests. When possible, dance is integrated into all units of study (math, reading, writing, investigations/social studies, and social and emotional learning). In a ‘persuasive writing’ activity, the girls wrote a letter to Mr. Louie requesting his assistance in engineering a ballet barre for our classroom so the girls had a proper space to “warm up.” Mr. Louie accepted and guided the girls throughout the design thinking project.
Below is a photo of the written request from the students to Mr. Louie:
More about our Maker Program:
The Hamlin School Maker Program is designed to deliver moments of impact where girls engage in real world problem solving through Human Centered Design Thinking. Students become problem seekers, focusing on community empathy and collaboration, using ongoing client feedback to drive the direction of their projects. Through their Maker work, our girls work diligently with tools, while developing a new lens by which to see possibility, adaptation, and innovation.
Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve problems, and find desirable solutions for people. A design mindset is not merely problem-focused, it’s solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future. Design Thinking draws upon logic, imagination, intuition, and systemic reasoning, to explore possibilities of what could be—and to create desired outcomes that benefit the end user.
In Grade 2, students recently used Design Thinking to create stools. They determined a need in the classroom (stools that provide a unique sitting option), then made a plan for their first iteration. With the assistance of teachers, students worked with various tools (drills, staples) to stabilize plastic crates with wood, then provided padding for added comfort. In the coming days the girls will obtain user feedback, then go back to make a second improved iteration, implementing what they learned from peer comments.
For the past few weeks, students in Digital Arts have been exploring the theme of “repurposing.” They are taking old products, such as computers, cordless phones, jeans, and shirts, and giving them new life. Some students are focusing on textiles, creating bags, totes, pencil cases, and stuffed animals. Other students are taking a more industrial route and disassembling electronics to see what they can create.
The girls are gaining an understanding of what it takes to make the products we use every day. They are learning that a computer is really hard to disassemble! And they are discovering how useful a zipper from an old jacket can be.
To help make their new textile products more interesting, students are using our vinyl cutter and heat press to create custom prints. They start by designing a vinyl cutout using one color. Later, they challenge themselves to create vinyl prints using multiple colors, all cut separately and carefully placed together in the heat press to create a multi-color design.
The Riveter Lab has lots of projects going on and the students are having a great time. This week in Digital Arts, we had a 90-minute class and I asked students to clean up 5 minutes before the end of class. One student said, “I thought this was a double block class!” We were having so much fun with our projects that we had completely lost track of time.