The 2017 Stewart Maker Fair: A Unique Showcase of Awesome
2017 was my fourth year of holding a Maker Fair at Stewart Middle Magnet School (see 2016, 2015 and 2014 for the previous ones). This year, my students had to put together everything for our Maker Fair in an extra short period of time, since the school year ended early. They rose to the challenge with some amazing, interactive projects and activities.
Check out the video below to see an overview, then scroll down for details:
The 2017 Stewart Maker Fair
Make & Takes
- Perler Beads (see this post for resources)
- Button Maker (Ours is really old. This one is made by the same company and this one is one I tried at AASL and recommend.)
The star of the show this year was definitely our re-born button maker. Ours had been out-of-commission for a while. Then one of our parent volunteers realized that we were using the wrong kind of buttons. We purchased the correct ones for our Maker Fair and students and guests had a blast making their own buttons. My students decided to each make one representing the station they were working at, so guests would know what they are experts in 🙂
At our interactive stations, our guests could try out different maker tools and activities. One student this year was passionate about Stomp Rockets, so we borrowed the setup from the science department and set it up outside the library.
This was our first Maker Fair having our own 3D printer, so several students took the lead, explaining to our guests how it works. Another student brought in her own 3D pen and let guests try it out.
- K’nex Drag Racing
- Sphero Obstacle Course
- Blowerzilla & Cardboardzilla
- K’nex Beyblades
- The Shatterer 2.0 (not pictured)
The highlight of our Maker Fair this year was definitely the student projects. They truly went above and beyond creating some amazing interactive projects. Check out the video to see the full scale of what they created.
The K’nex drag racing was easy and so much fun. Students used cardboard, scrap wood and duct tape to create a ramp in the library. They made a few demonstration K’nex dragsters and then helped our guests create their own and race them. (Note: This is the set I recommend to get started with K’nex if you don’t have any yet).
The Sphero obstacle course was made with cardboard, paint, hot glue, packing tape, and according to my students, blood and sweat (note: there were no injuries in the making of this project). It’s a super fun maze and our guests had a blast navigating Sphero through it. They intentionally made a few of the openings slightly too small so that you’d have to back up and go faster to get through them.
Blowerzilla and Cardboardzilla are amazing and writing about them cannot truly do them justice, so make sure you watch the video. This student LOVES Godzilla, so he was super excited to make two Godzilla-themed projects for our Maker Fair.
All in all, this was an amazing, student-driven maker fair. I may have helped a bit with prompting, but they pretty much came up with the ideas for all the attractions and ran everything themselves. And that’s how a Maker Fair should be 🙂
(A note on terms: In the book, we refer to showcases such as these as Maker Fests. I chose to keep the name Maker Fair this year because my students already had positive associations with it from previous events. Choose whatever term works best for you and your students)
(Second note: Post contains affiliate links. Actions taken may result in commissions for RenovatedLearning).