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Maker Challenges

Want to turn your students into Makers but don’t know how? Pick from our curated selection of Maker Challenges to engage your students in a unique experience. Each challenge will be facilitated by Maker Commons staff, and can lead into a Maker assignment.
Boat Challenge

Boat Challenge photo

Challenge in Brief

Name: Boat Challenge

Duration of Challenge: 4 hours

Maximum number of students: 24

Facilities Needed?: Multimedia Classroom located in West Pattee, 3D Printers, Internet Access, Tinkercad web app

Materials Needed: 6-7 boats, tub of water, pennies, rulers, paper towels

Skillset: 3D Printing, TinkerCad, Maker Mindset Key Benefits: Familiarity with TinkerCad, familiarity with Maker Commons 3D printing submission workflow, problem solving, critical thinking.

Application to courses or course content: Basic 3D printing skills

Project Description: Students are given a 3D printed boat that holds approximately 10 pennies before sinking. They are also given a 3D model of the boat that can be modified. The challenge is to design/modify the existing boat so that it prints in 2 hours or less and holds more pennies than the original.

Assignments that can follow the Challenge: SolidWorks 3D Modeling

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Boat Challenge II

Boat challenege 2 image

Challenge in Brief

Name: Boat Challenge II

Duration of Challenge: 30-60 minutes (scalable depending on available time)

Maximum number of students: 40

Facilities Needed?: Any open room with adequate number of tables for groups of 3 – 4 each

Materials Needed: Enough pre-printed boats with hole for each group, each group should have: 5 straws, 4 binder clips, two rubber bands, access to scissors, multiple shallow bins filled with water, up to 100 pennies

Skillset: Problem solving, Critical thinking, Digital Fluency: Maker Fluency

Key Benefits: Familiarity with TinkerCad, familiarity with Maker Commons 3D printing submission workflow, problem solving, critical thinking

Application to courses or course content: Introduction to Making, icebreaker, critical thinking and problem solving exercise

Project Description: In groups of 3 or 4, students receive a 3D printed boat with a hole, straws, binder clips, and rubber bands. Using these materials, they can modify the boat in anyway with the goal of placing the finished design in a shallow bin of water and placing pennies, one at time, into the boat until the boat sinks.

The finished boat that holds the most pennies, wins. Discussions around this include the importance of critical thinking, innovative problem solving, iterative design in a team scenario, and introduction to Making concepts.

Assignments that can follow the Challenge: Boat Challenge 1 (3D printing the designed boat), littleBits assignment, Design Thinking assignment

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Flashlight Challenge

Little Bits flashlight photo

Challenge in Brief

Name: Flashlight Challenge

Duration of Challenge: 1 hour

Maximum number of students: 24

Facilities Needed?: Multimedia Classroom located in West Pattee or breakout rooms

Materials Needed: LittleBits, tape, construction paper, rubber Bands, plastic cups

Skillset: Maker Mindset

Key Benefits: Familiarity with LittleBits, problem solving, critical thinking.

Application to courses or course content: Basic LittleBits prototyping skills

Project Description: Students are broken into groups and asked to re-think and redesign the concept of a flashlight. They are given 15-20 minutes to build a prototype of a new flashlight with additional behaviors or use cases. If time allows, groups can swap devices and iterate or improve upon one of the redesigns.

Assignments that can follow the Challenge: Security Device Challenge

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Puzzle Cube Challenge

Puzzle Cube

Challenge in Brief

Name: Puzzle Cube Challenge

Duration of Challenge: 20 mins (plus print time)

Maximum number of students: 40

Facilities Needed?: Multimedia Classroom located in West Pattee

Materials Needed:hands, computer, brain, tinkercad software

Key Benefits: Students will get hands on practice creating a 3D object and going through the process of submitting it to be printed.

Application to courses or course content: 3D modeling skills, 3D printing process knowledge

Project Description: Students will get hands on experience with using TinkerCad for 3D shape creation. They will be given one piece of a three-piece puzzle which they will have to scale down correctly so that the new pieces will fit correctly. At the end of the session, students will submit their puzzle pieces to be printed. Students will be put in groups of three and the puzzle pieces they create can be printed and put together in your classroom.

Assignments that can follow the Challenge: This challenge is designed for any Maker project that requires TinkerCad to create or modify a 3D object.

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Security Device

Little Bits security device photo

Challenge in Brief

Name: Security Device Challenge

Duration of Challenge: 1 hour

Maximum number of students: 24

Facilities Needed?: Multimedia Classroom located in West Pattee or breakout rooms

Materials Needed: LittleBits, 3D printed apples, paper lunch bags, tape, rubber bands, construction paper

Skillset: Maker Mindset

Key Benefits: Familiarity with LittleBits, problem solving, critical thinking.

Application to courses or course content: Intermediate LittleBits prototyping skills

Project Description: Students are broken into groups and are given an apple and a paper lunch bag. They are asked to design a security device for detecting when their apple has been stolen from the bag. Each group then tries to steal the apple from another group’s bag to test the devices. Time permitting, groups can be asked to rethink their device with additional parameters such as not using the buzzer, or motion sensor.

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Speedy Architect

 

straw building photo

Challenge in Brief

Name: Speedy Architect Challenge 

Duration of Challenge: 1 hour

Maximum number of students: 40

Facilities Needed?: Multimedia Classroom located in West Pattee or breakout rooms

Materials Needed: Compostable straws, compostable bendy straws, 3D printed straw connectors level surface or floor

Skillset: Maker mindset

Key Benefits: problem solving, critical thinking.

Application to courses or course content: Basic 3D printing skills

Project Description: Students are put in teams and given several straws and a variety of straw connectors. They have 10 minutes to construct a building to be as tall as they can make without it falling over. After the first evaluation they have the opportunity to select from additional connector shapes. They will get another 10 minutes to build a taller tower. The team with the tallest building wins!

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