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  • Alan Wang

Makerspace and More at Berkeley Academy!

This past month at Berkeley Academy, students were introduced to concepts of basic engineering through Makerspace tools Rigamajig and Strawbees.

We allowed students' imaginations to run wild with how they explored Rigamajig, and they were quick to catch on to how each piece interacted with one another.

Students were soon given a challenge: to make something that can roll. After some brainstorming among them, they cleverly came up with a three wheeled vehicle, using a pulley as a front wheel.

Expanding on these concepts of locomotion, students were taught how a bike works, with the help of a guest speaker. Our speaker, a racing cyclist, brought in a track bike to demonstrate the power produced by bike movement. Students were eager to try for themselves, and our speaker encouraged them to push the pedals to see how much power they could generate.

Strawbees is the newest program we have incorporated into our STEAM curriculum here at Berkeley Academy. Strawbees utilizes colored plastic straws and connectors to allow students to create.

However, we were just as new to Strawbees as our students, so we had a staff training session to familiarize ourselves with the program. With the help of a Strawbees representative, we were able to make and program a small Strawbees crane. Our instructor was also very useful in providing us with ideas in how to utilize Strawbees with our students, which we will certainly be making use of in the coming months.

With this training, we were able to properly introduce Strawbees to our students. We provided them with a simple challenge of making a cube, after which we let students create whatever their hearts desired. Many of the students, happy with what they made, opted to take their creations home.

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