Mini Maker Faire

Mini Maker Faire
Engage, Science
3rd/4th (modifiable for other grades)
Time Frame:
6 class periods
Mini Maker Faire is designed to get students making with found materials, documenting the process, tweaking/hacking someone else's design, and reflecting throughout. Students will select a hands-on project from a pre-selected list. They will follow the design process of the original project first. Then, they will consider how they could tweak/hack the design to make it more their own. Finally, we will hold a Mini Maker Fair where students can show of their projects to classmates. Ideally this will lead students to a greater interest in attending the Detroit Maker Faire and continuing to become an avid maker as they proceed through Engage in 5th through 8th grade. (And at home if we are really successful.)
  1. Students browse possible projects, analyzing for 1) fun, 2) gatherable materials, & 3) doable process
  2. In groups of 2-4, have students select a project (if they choose shorter projects, they may complete more than 1)
  3. Students create project wiki page - use a templateif needed due to time constraints or to scaffold younger students
    • Title
    • Final video of finished project
    • List of materials
    • Process (any notes that would have made the original directions clearer?)
    • Documentation of first version
    • Tweaks/Hacks
    • Brainstorm ways to tweak design (work better, look cooler, more creative, longer lasting, etc.)
    • Which will you attempt? Why?
    • Documentation of second/third version
    • Reflection on success/difficulties of tweaked design(s)
    • Link to original project
  4. Make sure students complete the materials portion of the page, listing each item and who will bring it
  5. Homework - Check partners' planners for homework, call partners to remind them to bring their materials
  6. Students complete Process, and Original Project link on wiki page
  7. Students follow process to complete first version of the project. While completing the project, they should take photos or videos to document the process and any reflections/questions.
  8. Students brainstorm tweaks/hacks to original design, listing ways to make it work better, look cooler, feel/appear more creative, last longer (durability), etc.
  9. Students select tweaks/hacks that seem reasonable for the materials, time, and expertise they have available.
  10. Students tweak/hack a second version of the project, again taking photos or videos to document the process and any reflections/questions.
  11. Students reflect on the process, including teamwork, and product. This can be text, audio recording, or video.
  12. Students share/celebrate each others' projects during a class Mini Maker Faire.
  • Make Document Reflect Tweak
  • Following written directions
  • Documenting process
  • Reflecting on creation
  • Iterative tweaking
How will you assess the students learning?
Please identify opportunities for differentiation.


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