Maker Activity #1-Thrifting

“Thrifting” Something high school students love to do… Well my art students love to do.
This week I spent some time using Squishy Circuits with two other students in my cohort group. This is a kit to help students understand how electricity works in a very safe way using different types of doe. The day we got the kit we quickly found out we had no doe or batteries to actually make the kit work so we only watch videos to consider possibilities for our next assignment.

The question posed was how could we use this learning activity in our own classroom?

We were also given the activity to go Thrifting.

I did not get the opportunity to go to the MSU store but I did go on line and began to look for possibilities which lead me to several ideas.

  • After Watching the video with AnnMarie Thomas, and considering possibilities of thrifting, I began to consider ways I could use the idea of electronics and creating 3D sculptures. One area I knew my students could get creative and discover ways of using electronic and sculptures would be repurposing items found around their homes or thrift-stores.

My Cohort group was given squishy circuits. We were only able  to witched videos on how “play” happens while learning about conductive and de-conductive properties of the squishy circuits. The recipe for the dough was found on the original maker kit website HERE.  We were able to play a few days later after we made the doe and brought in batteries to make the squishy circuits work.

In order to use this idea within a lesson students would need the kits and the dough, as well as several “junk” materials to consider making their people.

  • Stuff You Need:
    • using squishy circuits to create “funky junk folks”
    •  This project could be intended for my Art One students: Form Unit-sculptural artwork
    • Battery pack positive and negative circuits for students to work with.  and a bunch of “junk” to create creatures
    • Two days for using circuits to make proper connections  and brain storming idea for “funky  junk folks,” three days to assemble.
    • Patience and acceptance to fail and try again.
    • Work in partners for support and checking for accuracy
    •  Thumb nail sketches and decision to combine the work or each make their own.

Step 1: Tell people what you are going to tell them.

  1. Students will be introduced to electronic and
  2. Students will be given a challenge to use the circuits within their sculpture.
  3. Students will explore and create moving, noise making or eliminating elements to make  “funky junk folks.
  4. Students will demonstrate their findings by exhibiting their completed projects and the steps they took to get to the final work.

Step 2: Tell people what they need to perform the how-to you are documenting

  1. Students will work in pairs throughout the project.
  2. They will be provided with materials to make circuits work.
  3. Students will be provided with some “junk” but will be encouraged to bring in their own junk to repurpose it and bring it back to life.
  4. The students will be giving time to explore the circuits through play so they can get comfortable with how the circuits work.
  5. They will brainstorm ideas for their funky people and document with thumb nail sketches.
  6. Students will decide wether they will combine their ideas or each make their own.

Step 3: Break it down

  • Day 1-Watch video and play with squishy circuits.
  • Day 2-Brain storm ideas and draw thumb nail sketches.
  • Day 3-Decide wither they will combine ideas or create their own Funkiness.Possibly begin gathering junk for their creations.
  • Day 4 thru 6-Make their creations from the sketches they created.
  • Day 7-Organize documentation of their work and be read to present.

Step 4: Educate

THRIFTING: PART 2 Has my final lesson plan and connections to learning theory.

One thought on “Maker Activity #1-Thrifting

  1. Hi Yalonda! Thanks for sharing your experiences with virtual thrifting! I love the idea of using the squishy circuits for such an inventive art project. I would have loved to see a sketch of how you think these projects might turn out, but of course how do we know what creative artifacts your students might come up with? As you continue working on your blog posts, one thing to keep in mind is we are looking for connections to the readings and class materials when possible in the blog posts, not just your personal reflection and reactions to the activities. GGreat job!

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