OBT - Linking learning to the classrooms and beyond.

As a Makerspace teacher at my school, I use Makerspace to enhance learning in other subject areas. I have a great passion not only for relating student learning to real-life situations but also for making connections to the various subject areas they are currently learning within the classrooms and giving their learning more purpose.

At the end of each term, I meet with team leaders and coaches from around the school to review their term overviews and scope and sequences for the upcoming term. I then generate ideas and examples of how Makerspace could provide support for what they were teaching and how it could link their students to the real world and enhance their critical thinking abilities.

For instance, in Term 3, Grade 3/4 students were studying land erosion and extreme weather for their science unit. In Makerspace, we aligned this learning with Sustainable Development Goal 15 from the United Nations (https://sdgs.un.org/goals).

 

This is from the Keynote I have created for this topic. I have shown students their science unit's proficiency scale and will use it as a way to create links to our main topic within the Makerspace.

Goal 15 was to "Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss."

 

Here I show visual links for students, along with short explanations of how the topic and science unit will link.

By using this goal and the data provided by the United Nations, students then possessed a real-world understanding of how this related to their science unit. Subsequently, students engaged in the design thinking cycle to empathise with a community of their choice and considered how they could either address land erosion or reduce the impact of extreme weather based on the chosen community.

 

One student designed a house on stilts, to combat flooding. They also added a working solar panel to the homes' interior lighting, so it uses cleaner renewable energy.

Students had to apply their knowledge from their science lessons and Makerspace activities to tackle the problem/project assigned to them.

This was just one example. During Term 4, Grade 5/6 students soared into the captivating realm of space within Makerspace, drawing inspiration from their science unit, "Earth and Space." They embarked on a journey to explore the planets within our solar system, comparing their orbits and sizes while contemplating their distinct characteristics. Guided by probing questions like "What defines these planets?" and "Why should we explore space?", students engaged in constructing their very own space suits. These imaginative suits were tailored to adapt to the atmospheres and conditions of the various planets they chose and researched, igniting creativity and fostering scientific inquiry.

 

One of my students in her space suit, built and ready for the moon Phobos!

 

Student-designed Mars helmet: Heater for the cold, wipers for dust storms. Ensures warmth and visibility on the Red Planet!

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I have also attached a Keynote showing how I introduced the Term 3 topic to students in Grade 3/4.

I'd love to hear your insights on crafting enriching cross-curricular content grounded in real-life experiences. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts! 📝


 

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Posted on December 26, 2023

Wonderful way to integrate with the standards and goals and connect the science to the Makerspace. Love the Mars Helmet! What a fun class!

Posted on December 30, 2023

Thanks Cheryl!

The students absolutely love it!

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