Day Four (AM): Designing Purposeful Maker Spaces

Essential Question: How do we design purposeful, literacy-based maker spaces?


  • To connect literacy to maker space experiences.

  • To work through mistakes and practice iterative processes.

  • To  understand problem-solving through creative solutions.

  • To learn physics/engineering concepts through hands-on learning  (circuits).

Building Community

Robot Assembly Line. In a variation on a familiar game, African Mosquito, this building community activity got participants working together and connecting. 

Alive Reading

Reading "The New Foot"

Participants took on characters from this chapter in The Wild Robot for an Alive Reading experience with sound effects fully immersing themselves into the story.


Literacy Maker Spaces  & ArtBots


Part 1: Introduction to Makerspaces

Kurt and Debbi discussed the history and evolution of makerspaces generally and their role in schools. Students need hands on opportunities to develop creativity and critical thinking, and they can also reinforce literacy skills through a well designed makerspace. 

Part 2: ArtBots

Participants build ArtBots from simple materials. They learned about circuits to power their creations and used a rubric to guide their design. They worked through frustration and multiple iterations to create a functioning ArtBot.

Reflection. After building and testing their ArtBots,  participants reflected on the process with the group.

Video. Watch the whole process!

Day Four (PM): The Language of Animals

Essential Question: How can we learn to communicate?

A Model Lesson. Participants experienced a 45 min lesson designed with The Performance Cycle as the framework and giving them a chance to apply strategies they had learned earlier.

Building Community: Impulse Circle

Entering Text: Gibberish

Comprehending Text: Design Alive Reading

An Afternoon at the Museum

Participants took a field trip to the Vero Beach Museum of Art where Community & Family Programs Manager Shanti Sanchez led an interactive tour of the current exhibitions and demonstrated how to use art as a springboard to engage students through art, music and writing. 

Pictures from Day 4

Thank you to our generous community partners for your support, including
United Way, Impact 100, John's Island Community Service League, and John's Island Foundation
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© 2015 by Liz Bahl & Debbi Arseneaux. Proudly created with