Community of Practice Meet-Up: Betty Brinn Children's Museum and MakeShift

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Betty Brinn Children's Museum and MakeShift

The COP hosted many local educators and interested makers on July 27 to talk about all things STEAM! We had a great conversation prior to getting our hands dirty and helping local maker and friend of the Be A Maker space, Mike Krueger, make some beer, hard cider, lacto-fermented pickles, and sauerkraut! DJ Mind Fluxx (aka Jennifer Zamora) provided some great tunes so we could tap our toes while learning about all things fermentation!

We also talked about the Making in Education Conference at Maker Faire Milwaukee. We are excited to host panels and workshops at this conference, sponsored by Rockwell Automation. Early bird tickets are still available (until September 1) so reserve your spot soon! We would love to see you there!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Marquette University 707 Hub

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Marquette University 707 Hub

On June 29, the COP took a field trip to Marquette University to meet with local educators and innovators in the 707 Hub. Housed in the Office of Research and Innovation, Marquette University's 707 Hub is a beautifully renovated space that originally was home to a bank. The new construction allows for some of the old to shine through.

It was great to learn about all of the work that the 707 Hub does with students, the physical space and resources available, and the engagement of Megan, Kelsey, and Kaivahn were gracious hosts, gave us a great tour, and encouraged networking, conversation, and questions all about innovation, student-led challenges, and STEAM education.

Click through the photos below to get inspired!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Bay View High School

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Bay View High School

Our meet-up at Bay View High School on May 25 included Bay View High School faculty, for an informative session about Bay View's maker education programs and goals.

Steve Vande Zande, Program Implementer for Bay View High School (and Co-Founder of Redline Milwaukee) gave us a tour of the school's makerspace, gallery space, and introduced us to Dana Timm, Engineering teacher at BVHS. Mr. Timm showed us the longboards that students made by hand, and the Formula 1 racecar (photo above) that students also made, completely from scratch, with the help of Milwaukee Blacksmith and other local organizations.

We were very excited and honored to be introduced to all of the great maker education at Bay View High School and inspired by our surroundings. The building is gorgeous!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Betty Brinn Children's Museum

Community of Practice Meet-Up: Betty Brinn Children's Museum

The Making in Education Community of Practice met at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum on April 27, for our third official on-site Meet-Up (and 5th Meet-Up overall)! Participants learned how to create a Zip-Line Racer, received information about the Betty Brinn Children's Museum's Be A Maker space, the Making in Education Community of Practice, Maker Faire Milwaukee, and the Museum's outreach and maker initiatives. Additionally, educators from local school districts, informal educational institutions, non-profits, and even our friends Pete and Joost from Learn Deep stopped by to participate and chat about STEAM education.

Bill worked with educators to make Zip-Line Racers. This program connects all parts of STEAM and really gets kids (and adults!) thinking about how to best design something with intentional tools. You can check out the results in the photos below!

We had a great turnout of local educators, administrators, and informal educators! Thank you to all for participating, and we look forward to continuing the conversations at our next Meet-Up:

Thursday, May 25: 5:00pm - 6:00pm - Bay View High School.

Educator, artist, and Program Implementer Steve Vande Zande is hosting this COP Meet-Up (along with we here at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum) to showcase the great work going on at Bay View High School. The inclusive nature of Bay View High School lends itself to being a great hub for many cross-curricular student projects. Join us to check it out, and socialize a bit afterward!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: March 9 at Brenner Brewing Company

Community of Practice Meet-Up: March 9 at Brenner Brewing Company

The Making in Education Community of Practice met at Brenner Brewing Company on March 9, for our second off-site Meet-Up! Local maker Mike Brenner was a gracious host and even invited us on a brewery tour after the COP meet-up. Information about the Betty Brinn Children's Museum's Be A Maker space, the Making in Education Community of Practice, Maker Faire Milwaukee, and the Museum's outreach and maker initiatives were on the agenda.

Bill and Mike worked with teachers to make slime (Bill) and bread (Mike). We thought that the theme of Kitchen Chemistry would be fun to explore, and yeast of course needed to be involved. I mean, we were in a brewery, after all!

We had a great turnout of local educators, administrators, and college students! Thank you to all for participating, and we look forward to continuing the conversations online via Slack. Speaking of Slack, if you'd like to utilize this FREE resource and be a part of our Community of Practice in a digital way, email bam@bbcmkids.org for an invitation to Slack. It's a great way for teams to share, collaborate, and communicate, and can be used on Mac, PC, and apps for iOS and Android. Best of all, it's FREE!

It was another very successful and educational Community of Practice Meet-Up! Thank you to all who attended, and be sure to click on a photo below to view the slideshow.

We will be back at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum for our meet-up on April 27th.

Click here to get some more information and RSVP for April 27!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: February 21 at Shorewood High School

Community of Practice Meet-Up: February 21 at Shorewood High School

The Making in Education Community of Practice met at Shorewood High School on February 21, for the first ever off-site Meet-Up! Ted Knight, Shorewood School District's Chief Advancement Officer, introduced the evening's presenters and Joe Dorn, the Manager of Maker and Educational Programs at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, started things off. Information about the Betty Brinn Children's Museum's Be A Maker space, the Making in Education Community of Practice, Maker Faire Milwaukee, and the Museum's outreach and maker initiatives were on the agenda.

Derek Larson, Shorewood High School's Project Lead the Way teacher (and generous lender of his Maker Space classroom for the Meet-Up) presented about the work that his students are doing with modeling software and 3D printing. Ted and Derek also spoke about Shorewood High School's new maker space, Project Lead the Way, and workshops and activities sponsored by Shorewood Recreation, including FIRST Lego League and other programming.

Kevin Kane, Shorewood High School teacher, presented on the BUILD Motorcycle program and showed us the motorcycle built by his students during the 2015 - 2016 school year (which currently resides in his classroom)!

It was another successful and educational Community of Practice Meet-Up! Thank you to all who attended, and be sure to click on a photo below to view the slideshow.

See you on March 9th at Brenner Brewing Company for our next off-site Meet-Up, all about kitchen chemistry!

 

 

Community of Practice Meet-Up: January 26, 2017

Community of Practice Meet-Up: January 26, 2017

Building on the fun Meet-Up that we hosted in October, our Making in Education Community of Practice Meet-Up in January was a blast! Dozens of local educators, administrators, university professors and community members participated in one of our hands-on field trip programs Be A Maker: robART. This program combines art and robotics and begs the question "Can robots make art?"

Click on a photo below to open up the slideshow and check out the hands-on learning and fun that adults had while designing, building, and working together to create robots!

Are you an educator? Are you interested in joining us for our next FREE Meet-Up? Of course you are! Click here to RSVP!

Community of Practice Meet-Up: October 13, 2016

Community of Practice Meet-Up: October 13, 2016

After a great Educators Program at Maker Faire Milwaukee, the Making in Education Community of Practice hosted the first Meet-Up at the Be A Maker space at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum on October 13, 2016. This event focused on the early stages of beginning to establish a community and some time for adults to try out a project/design challenge that we normally teach to children. Sometimes it's fun to act like a kid!

Community members were introduced to our field trip program Be A Maker: Mega-Fort and challenged to work together to build a free-standing fort using only dowel rods and plastic tube connectors that each member of the group could fit inside of. Sounds simple, but can be a bit more challenging than you may think.

Click on a photo below to open the slideshow and see how our community members did!

Are you an educator? Are you interested in joining our next FREE Community of Practice Meet-Up? Click here to RSVP!

Educators Program @ Maker Faire Milwaukee

Educators Program @ Maker Faire Milwaukee

The inaugural Educators Program at Maker Faire Milwaukee was our kickoff to the Making in Education Community of Practice - and what a kickoff it was! Dozens of area educators (some even traveling from over an hour away!) participated in a day full of workshops, hands-on demonstrations, and educational presentations, resulting in some great connections and the beginning of a community.

Take a look at the slideshow of photos below, and stay tuned for details about the 2nd annual Educators Program at Maker Faire Milwaukee, September 2017!

Are you an educator? Are you interested in learning more about our next FREE Community of Practice Meet-Up? Of course you are!  Click here!

BAM on the radio

BAM on the radio

Friend of BAM and frequent Museum collaborator Chris Lawson recently gave an interview on local public radio to discuss our Beat Builder project and other research projects at the Betty Brinn Children's Museum. Listen to it at the link Below.

More at WUWM

 

 

The importance of play

The importance of play

Parents are squeezing the role of play out of their children’s lives in favour of the three ‘R’s as they try to prepare their offspring for a competitive world, according to the head of Lego’s education charity arm.

A lack of understanding of the value of play is prompting parents and schools alike to reduce it as a priority, says Hanne Rasmussen, head of the Lego Foundation. If parents and governments push children towards numeracy and literacy earlier and earlier, it means they miss out on the early play-based learning that helps to develop creativity, problem-solving and empathy, she says.

According to Rasmussen, the evidence for play-based learning has built enormously over the last decade, but parents don’t know about it. “Both in the formal education system and in the homes of children, the focus on the value of play is rather limited. That’s really something we want to work on – to improve the understanding of the value of play and what play really can do, where more and more it is squeezed by a desire both from the formal system and from parents that children should learn specific literacy and numeracy quite early.”

 

Read more at: The Guardian

 

 

Be A Maker: Beat Builder

Be A Maker: Beat Builder

During Spring 2015, Mike, Bill, Aaron, John, and Joe developed a research study funded by a local foundation. This study included 278 third-grade students from four charter schools in the city of Milwaukee.

The Museum educators/makers worked with the students during the five week study to learn about and build electrical circuits, electronic synthesizers, record raw audio samples, and manipulate those audio samples. One of the purposes of the study was to see if maker-related Museum learning experiences helped students to learn. We found that to be resoundingly true!

We worked with Chris Lawson and Erica Halverson, researchers from UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison, respectively and students from both institutions worked with us to collect data.

“Ninety-seven percent of [the students] said they wanted to learn more in the future, and 85 percent said they’d come back to the museum’s Maker space on their own,” Lawson said.

The entire process was very engaging, fun, and educational!

We were proud to find out that the Be A Maker: Beat Builder research study was mentioned in the UW-Milwaukee Annual Research Report. You can check out the article here!

 

Making Laser Cut Valentine's Day Cards

Making Laser Cut Valentine's Day Cards

This past Saturday was the Betty Brinn Children's Museum's annual "Valentine Ice Cream Social." We had tons of visitors who made tons of great Valentine cards for loved ones.

BAM space director Mike designed word blocks in Adobe Illustrator and laser cut the words into pink foam to make block prints. With the help of some wonderful volunteers and interns, children and adult visitors were able to make Valentine cards.

Blocks on blocks on blocks.

Blocks on blocks on blocks.

Tools of the trade.

Tools of the trade.

An example of a finished Valentine card. Awwww...

An example of a finished Valentine card. Awwww...

Becky, one of our fantastic interns from UW-Milwaukee's DCRL.

Becky, one of our fantastic interns from UW-Milwaukee's DCRL.

Our friend John McGeen chronicled the day on his blog, Mainspring, here.

Check it out when you have a chance, and feel free to visit us every Wednesday and the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month for printmaking with Allie!

Featured Maker: Bryan Czibesz

Featured Maker: Bryan Czibesz

Artist Bryan Czibesz creates sculpture that plays with the disconnect between the traditionally hand-made discipline of ceramics and the use of modern technology and tools such as CNC milling, CAD and 3D printing.

He accomplishes a portion of his work with a custom built ceramic 3D printer based on the popular Orion Delta. Files to make your own are available here.
There is also an active Google Community page dedicated to the project. 

More of Bryan's work can be viewed at his website:
 http://www.bryanczibesz.com/Home.html

Learning through making

Learning through making

Friend of BAM Erica Halverson, Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (School of Education) and a researcher in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was recently featured in a school website article about her work researching the educational benefits of making. Erica was one of the primary researchers on our Beat Builder program, made possible by a grant from the Herzfeld Foundation. Beat Builder is a four week program that includes making in the BAMspace and working with students in their classrooms to teach simple circuitry concepts through music. Erica and other faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UWM developed survey and data collection tools to examine the impact of making on learning in this program, and their work to document learning - the first of its kind -- will be published this year. 

WCER/© Andy Manis

Erica said of the project, “Bringing the maker movement into the education conversation has the potential to transform how we understand ‘what counts’ as learning, as a learner and as a learning environment."  We were honored to work with Erica and her team and look forward to other collaborations with educators around learning through making. 

 Read the full article at:
http://news.wisc.edu/re-making-the-world-of-education-a-learning-revolution/#sthash.c8CYwlcd.dpuf

Who is Sofia?

Who is Sofia?

Thanks to support from the Brady Foundation, the BAMspace is open on Neighborhood Night, our monthly free admission evening. Neighborhood Night provides us with an opportunity to work with lots of kids and families who are not familiar with the maker mission and we love to introduce them to the unlimited creative avenues the BAMspace presents.  So...it's not at all uncommon for the BAMspace to be a little extra messy during the evening. When we came across the name "Sofia" scrawled in crayon across the doors to the space a few months back, we just shrugged our shoulders and scrubbed it away as best we could.

A few weeks later, while on our way to work we noticed a strikingly familiar tag on the side of a school a few miles from the museum. Although the hand style is slightly different, it seemed immediately evident that the BAMspace had been tagged by a young pro! We have even found it on a portion of a collaborative project we worked on exclusively on Neighborhood Nights. Citizens of Milwaukee, if you come across any more sightings of the work of Sofia, please let us know where to find them. We would love to piece together this mystery and maybe even do a Featured Maker posting in the future. 

Literal Musique Concrète

Literal Musique Concrète

From our Beat Builder program to our recent experiments with John Cage-style prepared piano, BAM has always been big fans of experimenting with sound. For our upcoming Makeshift on February 4th we've been developing several new experiments around the concept of Musique concrète, including taking it very literally and casting contact microphones inside of concrete slabs. 

From Wikipedia:

Musique concrète  is a genre of electroacoustic music that is made in part from acousmatic sound, or sound without an apparent originating cause. It can feature sounds derived from recordings of musical instruments, the human voice, and the natural environment as well as those created using synthesizers and computer-based digital signal processing. Compositions in this idiom are not restricted to the normal musical rules of melody, harmony, rhythm, metre, and so on. Originally contrasted with "pure" elektronische Musik (based solely on the production and manipulation of electronically produced sounds rather than recorded sounds), the theoretical basis of musique concrèteas a compositional practice was developed by Pierre Schaeffer, beginning in the early 1940s

Chalk Hypotrochoids

Chalk Hypotrochoids

A hypotrochoid is the mathematical term for a path traced by a point attached to a circle rolling around the inside of a another fixed circle. You know it better as the shapes that the classic toy Spirograph makes. We're exploring the art making potential of these shapes with our latest BAM pop-up activity Chalk Hypotrochoids.  

We used our 40w Full Spectrum Laser to cut 1/8" birch plywood. To make your own, download the pattern here. 

MakeShift Mondays - Concrete Cuba

MakeShift Mondays - Concrete Cuba

In preparation for our celebration for all things concrete at MakeShift (the museum's quarterly adults only evening) on February 4th, we have not only dug into the material's vast potential as a medium for creative expression, but also the term itself, and how it is often used in the worlds of art and music. 

From the New York Times Article  
‘Concrete Cuba’ Visits a Quieter Period of Latin American Modernism

"The term concrete art — coined around 1930 by the Dutch artist and designer Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931) — denoted works without figurative or symbolic references, art that was free of naturalistic associations and any kind of narrative or sentiment. (In this it set a precedent for the “what you see is what you get” ethos of the Minimalists.)
Concrete works were not “abstracted” from anything; they represented purely their materials, colors and the self-contained logic of their geometric imagery. The concept of concrete art quickly spawned successive groups in Paris (Art Concret and Abstraction-Création). After the war, artists in Latin America were attracted by its credo, leading to the formation of concrete-minded groups like Madi, in Buenos Aires in 1946, and Grupo Ruptura and the better-known Grupo Frente — which included the artists Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape and the precocious Hélio Oiticica — in São Paulo and in Rio de Janeiro, both in 1952.
Cuba was introduced to nonobjective or abstract art in 1949, with a Havana exhibition of works by Sandú Darié, a Romanian who emigrated to the island in 1941 and became a crucial force among the artists of the 10. The show’s eight works by Darié, who forged ties with the Madi group, make an especially strong impression. Two paintings from around 1950 establish him as one of the few artists who managed to extend Mondrian’s bars and colored blocks beyond the master’s shadow. Darié did this with bright colors (yellow, orange and black on white, in one case) and intersecting forms that convey a prismatic sense of space."

Read the full article here

Makeshift Mondays - Casting concrete in foldable paper forms

Makeshift Mondays - Casting concrete in foldable paper forms

MakeShift Mondays

How to cast concrete in folded paper forms

What you will need: 

  • Heavy paper stock (such as photo paper)
  • Pre-mixed concrete (the finer the aggregate, the better) 
  • Water
  • Tape
  • Scissors or an X-acto blade

How to make it:

  1. Download a foldable form or make your own using Pepakura Designer.
  2. Cut out your form and tape it together, making sure to leave a hole at the top for filling it with the concrete mixture. 
  3. In a disposable cup, add enough concrete mix to fill your form and then slowly mix with water until it reaches the consistency of a milkshake. 
  4. Pour concrete mixture into the paper form.
  5. If possible, seal and tape your paper form closed (concrete does not require exposure to air in order to cure). 
  6. Let concrete cure for recommended time suggested by the manufacturer.
  7. Open up the form and remove your concrete sculpture!
  8. Finish edges with a coarse file and wet sand to desired smoothness. 
  9. If desired, seal with lacquer or clear nail polish.  

Join us on February 4th at 6pm for Makeshift

We'll be making these, and several other exciting concrete projects. Details here.