Month: November 2013

What do Mentors Do When School Is Out? (What we did Nov. 13)

Ever wonder what your mentors do when we don’t see you at Willow Run? Stephen took his Mac apart!

Stephen fixes his computer IMG_5789


We had a busy week. We said goodbye to Squishy Circuits (but take a look at what happened when someone found a motor in the SC bag), added hand-sewing upcycled scarves, and kept going with origami and Snap Circuits. We also recorded our maker theme song so Theo can use it as he prepares a project on how to make our own speakers.

We weren’t quite as good at things like cleaning up (wow! What a mess the Snap Circuits were!) or listening respectfully during our closing meeting, both of which are important maker skills, so we’ll keep working on those!



MM@Mitchell Squishy Circuits with Motor!


We have had three weeks’ worth of Squishy Circuits on our menu. Before we take retire it from active service, enjoy this video of a master sculptor at work. He’s creating a portrait of Squishy Circuits co-founder AnnMarie Thomas. Enjoy!

– Kristin



Wow – we have been really busy for our first two weeks of Michigan Makers at Mitchell! We have 25 students and a U-M team of four people, plus Mrs. T, Noah, and Mrs. C!

The first two weeks, we picked from these four activities:

  1. Snap Circuits
  2. Squishy Circuits
  3. Friendship Bracelets
  4. Origami

So we have been thinking about electrical circuits as well as many kinds of engineering: thread engineering, paper engineering, and clay engineering!

Check out the Mitchell sets on our Flickr page (and check out what the makers at the other Michigan Makers site are working on!).

We sometimes hear our makers say that something is “stupid,” but we’re learning that this really means, “I really want to figure this out, but I’m stuck and need help.”

We voted last week that we definitely wanted to keep working on Snap Circuits and origami. It was a toss-up whether we should keep friendship bracelets or Squishy Circuits going … so the mentors are deciding plus picking a new activity for November 4. What’s next? It’s a surprise …

– Kristin

Farewell, East, and hello, Mitchell and Ypsi!

We had a wonderful time with Mrs. Goldberg and the Michigan Makers at East this year. For the 2013 – 2014 school year, we are no longer at East but working with kids at Mitchell and at YCS Middle School.

For questions about the Michigan Makers projects, email faculty advisor Kristin Fontichiaro at font [at] umich [dot] edu.

Thanks for a great year!


Images © 2015 Regents of the University of Michigan. Text available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise stated. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of​ ​Museum and Library Services RE-05-15-0021-15.