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Maker[Space] Ship Lands at McKinley

Every grade level was able to choose a topic to explore in the lab.  They received a short lesson and had the chance to complete some hands on activities connected to their lesson. 


Here are some descriptions from the teachers...


Our preschool class was so excited about going on the “spaceship”, they were jumping up and down! They enjoyed sharing their knowledge of different shapes as well as participating in the art science experiment. Each child was so proud of their finished product!


Our 2ndgrade class had a blast in The MakerSpace(ship)! As the hosts welcomed us onto the bus, our students “oohed” and awed. One student exclaimed, “Now this is a realMagic School Bus!” (It really is!) During our visit, we learned about crystals and how they are formed. Students then got to make their own crystal art! First our host added epson salt in hot water to dissolve. Next, students painted pictures with the salt water on black paper. Then, they got to add some food coloring to the salt water and painted on white paper. When their art dried, crystal formations appeared on their papers. It was fascinating! Thank you, San Jose Library, for sending this awesome bus of science, art, and discovery to our school!


Third graders participated in Earthquake Engineering. They first learned about the dangers that earthquakes pose to structures, then how engineers make seismically sound buildings. Students then designed their own earthquake-proof structures in small groups, using only ten pieces of raw spaghetti and miniature marshmallows. To test their structures’ integrity, they simulated earthquakes using a shake table. The students were excited to take home (and in some cases, eat) their final designs.


The fourth graders participated in the MakerspaceShipfrom the San Jose library this past week. Our students learned about how 3D printing works and how they can create and design original pieces of art. By using computers and play doh, our students used their imagination to come up with something to design that would eventually be printed using the 3D printer. They also learned how 3D printing has helped our community progress and make new developments in technology, medicine and other areas. 


The fifth and sixth grade students became engineers for one day.  They learned about what makes a structure safe and sound.  Using spaghetti pasta and marshmallows, they took on the challenge of building a 2-story building.  At first, they thought it was an easy task and quickly discovered it takes a lot of planning to design and build a structure.  You could hear them discuss possible ways of improving their design, but lamented using their materials without thinking thoroughly.  They requested more materials, and soon realized they had limitations to the materials they could use.  In the end, a few groups were able to succeed and built structures that were able to withstand an earthquake!