Author: Ben Rearick

MM@Scarlett 3/27/2017

We had a lower turnout this week, but definitely heightened fun!


We introduced a more complex challenge that involved several steps. First the students had to identify a challenge they had in regards to buildings, houses, or rooms that they frequented. Then they had to imagine a solution. The final step of the initial process was to draw — or paper prototype — their initial solution on a piece of paper.

Then we gave each student some of the abundant cardboard we had collected from around town and the university. We had some pretty big pieces! The students took time building their designs, with Alyssa and Ben providing cutting assistance with exacto knives.

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Some were lured in by the bigness of the boxes, while others took the natural shapes of cut-apart boxes to add to their designs. We were especially happy to see a mini-prototype and a full-size prototype of a seatbelt for a rocketship! That maker also pointed out that these materials were better, freer, and allowed for more imagination than the previous week’s toys did.


Again, students started collaborating once they were done with their individual projects.

Another challenge, another successful maker time! Check out the rest of the pictures at this Flickr album.


MM@Scarlett 3/20/2017


Michigan Maker’s triumphant return to Scarlett included a tried and true activity of Toy Takeapart.

We had a great turnout and spent some initial time getting to know each other and hearing what everyone liked to make.

Ben challenged the students to take apart an old toy from Goodwill and make something related to transportation. A lot of grit was needed to get all those screws out of the plastic toys — but, boy, did we find some interesting stuff underneath! Some students stuck to adding things to within existing toys, but others were able to create some transportation-related, completely new tools.


One student takes out a controller for an old electronic toy and turns it into a kind of steering wheel!


Two students collaborate on disassembling an alphabet toy.

Good work, makers! Check out more pictures at this Flickr album.


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.