Last week I had the opportunity to join the #Techeducator podcast for a conversation about makerspaces/fab labs/innovation labs in education. The panel included a fantastic collection of folks (Brian Briggs & Doug Robertson) associated with Jon Corippo‘s CUE SteamPunk program, which provides “quick start” lesson plans and lends out sets of Spheros and Dash & Dot to schools interested in exploring the potential of these toys tools.

Doug talked about how his fifth grade class used the Dash & Dot to learn about programming and build a jousting competition as part of their final project!

Dash and Dot jousting #cuesteampunk

A video posted by Doug Robertson (@theweirdteacher) on

When I look through the webcam on the 3D printer and see the kinders playing with robots, I know we are in the future. #kidscancode

A photo posted by Sam Patterson (@mypaperlessclassroom) on

These guys have some good advice on how to get started with new tools, more importantly, how to get support and “buy-in” from colleagues and administrators.

There were lots of tools, apps, and materials mentioned in the course of the hour, so here’s an abbreviated list to check out:

Robots and Programming:
Sphero and their new SPRK program for educators
Dash & Dot
LEGO Mindstorms

3D Printing
TinkerCAD

We also heard more about Sam Patterson‘s new book, Beyond the Hour of Code! Can’t wait to get my signed copy (hint, hint!).

There is SO MUCH exciting stuff happening around makerspace-supported learning and I’m so glad to be a part of such an amazing collection of educators! How are you using the “maker mindset” to empower your students? Drop a comment below or hit me up on Twitter!