Maker Fellows Update: December 2017

The STC NYC Maker Fellows Program has been very active this Fall. Nine Maker Fellows, representing two district and two charter schools, are leading 90 minute after-school Makerspaces at their schools each week. Close to 100 students are engaging with a curriculum developed by our partner MakerState and implemented by the Maker Fellows. This curriculum immerses students in a series of challenges that they can only solve by writing a computer program using Scratch, a language developed at MIT.

While students are actively coding for much of the Makerspace, they have also been challenged to “pseudocode” using laminated “Scratch blocks” on which they can practice their coding skills before opening up their laptops. This has inspired some notable creativity, which has also come out in their coding. Students have quickly mastered the basics of Scratch, and will soon be challenged to create and code their own adventure game!

All of this has been implemented with the expectation that students collaborate and support each other. Collaboration and problem-solving are two of the skills that students will continue to practice throughout this school year.

This was an exchange with a 6th grader at VOICE Charter School as she completed her second Scratch programming challenge, the “Call to Adventure.”

Student: “I did it!”
Teacher: “What exactly did you do?”
Student: “I got my hero (a witch on a broomstick) to interact with each of my items – a bowtie, a bowl of cheesypuffs, and a rocketship – now she has heard the call to adventure!”

-Roger Horton, Manager of Maker Programs STC NYC