– Exploration, Expression, Exposition

For Makers, Tinkerers, Hackers and Creators

Today, D. stayed at home, so I asked him to choose from our Home Days Task list to do a project and he chose this:   Working on three challenges towards a Badge from If you haven’t been there yet you should. It’s captured D’s attention on and off over the last couple of years.  Definitely a good place to go to look for project ideas.  A neat platform for celebrating Do It Yourself and Maker culture, and a fun social site to safely present your work and interact with other kids / youth presenting theirs.  I like it.  It’s easy to navigate, and has a wonderful design and ad free look.

D. chose Special Effects Wizard, and happily got to work.  Look what he did!

Cobra Weave, Paracord Bracelet


“the Very Particular Thing”, Hand Puppet, Sepcial Effects Wizard


Roman Bloodstone Dagger, Special Effects Wizard


Rocky Path, Faux Surface, Special Effects Wizard


I love the range of expression here.  D. is definitely content when making.  Not so much presenting or writing though.  I’d hoped he’d be as enthusiastic reporting on his process and writing about why he’d chosen these projects, how his making had gone and how he felt about his end products.  To his credit, he did for the first time take the pictures, upload them onto the computer and then onto by himself. See them here:

He was pleasantly surprised by the few likes he got right away, and the ‘social’ interaction / attention.  Then as if his wonderful artwork // craft spoke for itself, he brushed off my urging to write / talk about his projects and was quickly off to something else.  🙂

As usual D. is not in love with school, but I have seen him charged up and enlivened a couple of times.  His class has recently learned about geometry, solids, and mechanics of form building, and the had to do a group challenge on building with rolled up newspaper and duct tape.  I was reminded as always how much actually DOING things, MAKING things, WORKING on tangible problems and projects can be so wonderful for many students, especially my lad, D.  I have been thinking a lot about Tinkering schools, Maker Labs and Reggio Emilia and how secretly in my heart I want to open a centre / school for such work….what happens when the space, time and resources are layer out in front of a child, and s/he is allowed to fool around?  What happens if we say, “make a mess”, “break stuff”, “make mistakes”, “experiment”, “play”? “What the world needs now is reckless curiosity”.

If you watch Gever Tulley’s video, you will see that the school he and his friend came up with that would take students through an exploration, expression and then exposition phase is similar in many ways to what the Reggio schools are doing……hhmmm….my mind is alive with possibilities.