Month: November 2016

Photo of boy taking toy apart

MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016: So much taking apart!

This was session three of our five-week sprint. Take a look at what was on offer:
MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016

We saw great maker mindset in person when the laptops could barely hold on a charge — they had gotten a workout during the day — and the students went with the flow and flexibly swapped out laptops to make things work. That’s the kind of approach to life we like to see!

The popular stations this week were definitely toy take apart (with Ben this time as your mentor) and the Roominate kit.

Check out our makers in action!

MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016
Two pairs of hands make toy takeapart a lot faster!


MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016 This mechanical Santa had so much to unpack that it took three pairs of hands!   MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016 Who knew Santa’s arms were wires but that his legs actually have knees?   MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016 Poor Santa — but so interesting to take apart!  

MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016
It’s great to spread out with the LEGOs. We have a fuller box this year, so there are plenty of bricks for inspiration.


MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016
M realizes that he can connect a motor from the Roominate box to some fluff left over from last week’s take apart. Not only does the motor attach itself into the fluff, it can actually twist it into yarn. Check out the video below!


MM@Mitchell 11/29/2016
Who knew we could invent a knitting machine?

Here are some things we are learning:

  1. It’s a new thing to use a screwdriver!
  2. “Lefty loosey, righty tighty.”
  3. Press down with the screwdriver while you turn it.
  4. The inside of toys can be a big surprise!

For more photos from this week, check out this week’s Flickr album.


Photo of inside of an electronic toy guitar

MM@Mitchell 11/22/2016: Teamwork

After not having enough for everyone to do this week, we loaded up our van! We introduced toy takeapart, brought back some building tools like Tinkertoys and LEGO, and did some more Check out our photos here and in this week’s Flickr album.
MM Toy Take Apart 11/22/2016
We worked in partners this week not only with but with toy takeapart as well. We had two groups of technicians, one taking apart this toy guitar, and the other taking apart a mechanical bear.


MM Toy Take Apart 11/22/2016 When you work with mechanical/electronic toys, you add scissors to your toolkit!  

MM@Mitchell 11/22/2016 Blockly photos by KF
Paired programming with

MM@Mitchell 11/22/2016 Blockly photos by KF
We are impressed by how well the Mitchell makers work together on projects. That’s a great life skill, makers!


MM@Mitchell 11/15/2016: Activate!

YAY! We are back at Mitchell School for five week this fall! We planned to introduce kids to and make buttons for name tags. But OOPS! We didn’t realize that the laptop cart was locked up and forgot to bring a Plan B. So we sent Kamya back to campus to get some engineering toys, and Kristin had some yarn in her car we used to teach braiding. We like how Mitchell makers go with the flow when things get weird and steer clear of whining. We don’t like to be unprepared, so your good attitude made a big difference!

Here are some photos of the day:

Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo!
Welcome menu

Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo!
Using Kristin’s computer to test-drive for next week (fingers crossed!)


Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo!
Using the punch to cut out templates for making name tag badges


Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo!
Whew! We were relieved when Kamya brought us some other things to tinker with!
Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo!
Ben says, “Activate!” whenever they push the button on the Badge-O-Matic II. It is funny every time. We observed how closely the makers watched the people ahead of them so they would know how to set up their button with little prompting from us. Nice strategy, makers!   Michigan Makers at Mitchell 11/15/2016 - some photos by Jo! Success! Check out additional photos in this Flickr album. Kristin

Michigan Makers returns to Mitchell on Tues 11/15 after school!

Hello, everyone! If you’re a third grader who likes to take stuff and turn it into something else, you just might be a maker. See Mr. Hilton at Mitchell for a permission slip. Space is limited, and we cannot wait to see you in two weeks!

Kristin, Kamya, and Ben

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.