Living with Makers: DIY.org 2


Living with Makers: DIY.org

Today my girls discovered DIY.org!  Boy were they excited – both of them chose their avatar, their own password, and immediately started exploring the site.  Our youngest daughter decided to do a bubble experiment – making green water and blowing bubbles as big as she could with a straw and a bowl. While the other daughter started making a cape for our family cat/dog – in order to transform one them into a “super animal” —- Once they were both completed, they moved on to making a toy car out of a cardboard box and a mini robot using a girl scout cookie box! (photos coming soon!) They sat and made things from 3:30pm until 7:00pm — eating dinner as they made their artifacts. The engagement alone was like watching both of them discover their love for video games for the first time! [I included a photo of our oldest child making a house in Minecraft as she followed along with the Lets Play playing on the screen to the left of her 'palette' - The purpose of displaying this image is to show  a theme of making happening whether it is physical or digital - both of my children really enjoy moving between digital making and physical making.]

As a mother, just seeing my children happy, engaged, and challenged felt like a great accomplishment!  As a researcher, I honed in on some patterns of behavior -

  • Both girls seemed to compete a bit for the camera(s) in order to document “THEIR” project. There was a sense of ownership and a desire to show off what they could do on their own.
  • I noticed that our younger daughter was willing to go with the flow and pick whatever she thought looked feasible to try.
  • Our older daughter wanted to try out the most difficult challenges – and when she realized she didn’t have all the tools, she became notably upset.
  • However, once the little one figured out what she wanted to do and had the video camera set up – all of a sudden the older daughter had a stroke of genius and wanted a camera too!
  • Both children spent time surfing the gallery -
  • Both children wanted to make what they saw in the galleries – even though they have projects started here – unique projects – they wanted to try to make something they saw in the galleries. However, their ideas changed over time to making unique artifacts as they became more deeply engaged with the materials and resources they had at their disposal.
  • Both children wanted to compose photographs or video of their projects – step by step.
  • Our older child kept asking “how much longer until I earn a badge?” or said “I bet this is going to earn a badge!” In fact, she even mentioned “Did you notice there are some projects that don’t have a badge – I bet those kids did alot of hard work but they don’t have a badge….that’s too bad.”
  • Our younger child never mentioned the badges – she just wanted to pick her own avatar and password! Badges…what are those? She really didn’t care! She just wanted to make and post -
  • Projects made by our nine year old during this time: a cardboard box toy car, a cape for “super pet”, and videos of each -
  • Projects made by our seven year old during this time: a cardboard box robot, green bubbles, and videos and photographs of each

What is happening here? How might this move their ideas forward? What might they do with these experiences?

According to one of my girls:

“Mom, now that I discovered DIY.org, I feel inspired!”

That’s a great start!

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