ISTE20Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Digital Leadership
Summit at ISTE20 Live
ISTE21Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Making Sustainability: Intentional Making and Problem-Solving With Sustainable Development Goals (#TeachSDGs)

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Wednesday, June 26, 8:00–10:00 am
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 20

Melissa Wrenchey  
Makerspaces can be used to incorporate sustainable development goals but how do we teach students to use supplies sustainably in a makerspace? Learn how students can use low-cost resources and have very effective deliverables. By using repurposed materials, students work with the same tools to solve sustainability issues globally.

Audience: Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Maker activities and programs
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of my presentation is to present content for engaging STEM maker projects that do not cost a lot of money for schools. A fabulous resource is Toys from Trash, Arvind Gupta's presentation and I will bring smaller models of those activities to show attendees how feasible affordable maker content can be. My high school students have been using these tools to partner with an elementary maker space in Pennsylvania to show how engaging STEM content can be for all. The models I will provide include using repurposed items and the CCSS addressed. I will share some smaller activities we have adapted for integrated projects in our STEM school. I will highlight how we incorporate using technology including micro-electronics, and programming and make the training relevant as we solve problems using finite resources. Students use tools like our laser cutter and the Silhouette to make smaller component parts, but they also make use of recycled items like cardboard. Makerspaces can still demonstrate problem solving and use more “homegrown”, affordable sources. Attendees will have some hands-on maker projects to engage with. Models will include some of these "toys from trash" where we have developed curriculum to go with the learning.

Supporting research

This site inspired me: Another inspiring site is Together we see how hands-on Maker content can be and how easily these projects align with engineering standards.

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person photo
Melissa Wrenchey, N. Tesla STEM High School

Melissa teaches Entrepreneurship at a STEM grounded, experiential learning school. Students design, build and test prototypes and then go back into the engineering design process to redesign; along the way they use best practices for sustainable making. Projects include: Arduino based sustainable cities, student built controllers for Minecraft and game based learning projects. She is a doctoral student at Northeastern University and her problem of practice is assessing outreach programs for high school students mentoring younger students in Computer Science. She has delivered adult training to other teachers in the US, focusing on technology including Minecraft and Microsoft tools.

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