Calm before the storm at the Lighthouse

As I mentioned earlier I am teaching on the Summer Maker Camp at Lighthouse Community Charter School, in Oakland CA. The first 2 weeks of my teaching job at Lighthouse are dedicated to planning, preparing and developing the curriculum for the 5 week program, and we’ve just finished! The most challenging part of the preparation has been predicting how long students will take to make projects and learn new skills. As all makers know, making takes longer than you think, and people work at different paces, so working out how much students can make in a day is quite tricky! To try and allow for students to work at their own pace, we have made examples to inspire and use as a guide, and we are also making hand-outs for students to work form if they get ahead.

Each week is themed: Fiber Arts, Textiles, Games and Toys, Wood and Metal, and Installations. During the final theme, Installations, students will structure, design, and make their own projects. These could be sculptures, art for the school, or a community build -we will be there to facilitate, but hope that students learn skills in the previous weeks that they can use.

My favorite part of the prep was making samples -I love making samples! We made samples in e-textiles, fabric dying, Scratch, woodwork, 3D printing, and animation. I don’t have all the screen based projects rendered to post here yet, but here are some pics of the physical things we made. We also created a “Documentation Station”, a photography set-up, with whiteboards where students can document their process and write about their work for the School’s Maker blog.

Week 1: Fiber Arts
Tie dye, embroidery, machine sewing, and e-textiles.

Week 2: Animation
We mostly prepped all the computers.

This was a typical scene:

Week 3: Toys and Games
We’ll be taking toys apart and hacking them! As well as making games with Scratch and 3D printing. We made a mess with toys!

and above is my 3D print -that I designed on Tinkercad, it interlinks and everything!

Week 4: Wood and Metal
We went to a scrap yard to get this copper -they bought the roll to us on a fork-lift truck, how thoughtful! Aaron made a fabulous mask as an example, which he is still working on and adding a mustache!

And above is a stall I made in an afternoon! My first wood project!

It was great to finally meet my coworker, Aaron Strauss, who will be teaching the High School program, and who I will be working with over the next 8 weeks. Aaron is a fantastic maker. He has an intuitive understanding of how things work, and it was really great work with and learn from him.