MAKING IN SCHOOLS
In the primary years, students “make” and “create” things using playdough, LEGO, wooden blocks, craft
objects, and other items. As they move through the older grades, somewhere along the way, the focus on
the maker mindset seems to disappear. How can schools create opportunities for making and tinkering?
In several schools this is taking the shape of Maker Spaces and Maker curriculum that enables students
(and adults) to tinker, experiment, and fabricate using design thinking processes. The language of design
schools is finding a place in our lives -- ‘rapid prototyping’, ‘design cycle’, and ‘ideating’ are some of the
concepts and practices connected with the maker movement.
This year ASB’s R&D department is exploring and prototyping “Making and Tinkering”. In this chapter we
share some snapshots of these explorations.
From Cardboard Construction to Wearable Tech:
Making and Tinkering with Parents and Students
By journalist Shanoor Seervai
Students and parents come together for a series of workshops, working with their hands and using
technology in new ways
An episode of Little Rascals, a famous American comedy from the 1930s, was playing when families
streamed into the Multi-Purpose Hall at the American School of Bombay. The black and white video was
a reminder that children have always used their hands to invent things. But new technology is changing
what they make in unprecedented ways, said Dr. Gary Stager, a pioneer of the global maker movement.
The maker movement inspires people to design and create products using a wide range of materials, from
play dough to electrical wires. In keeping up its
tradition of using technology in new ways, ASB has
developed a Maker Space to promote creativity,
collaboration and opportunities for students to work
with their hands using a range of tools and resources.
On November 10 and 17, 2013, Dr. Stager led a series
of activities for parents and children from kindergarten
to Grade 8 at ASB. The author of Invent to Learn:
Making, Tinkering and Engineering in the Classroom,
believes that the natural inclination of children to work
with their hands enables them to use technology to
make and design new things. “Learning with your
hands has traditionally been subordinate to learning
with your head, but the maker movement values the two equally,” said Dr. Stager. Children chose from
Building to learn the Arduino microcontrollers