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Building the Industrial Design Lab

,
Pennsylvania Convention Center, 122B

Participate and share: Interactive session
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Presenters

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Ridley High School
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Ridley High School
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Arts & Technology Teacher
Ridley High School
@johannateaches
@johannateaches
Johanna Marshall is a visual artist and educator from Philadelphia. After nine years in the art room, she earned a second teaching certification in Technology, and was brought in to an Apple Distinguished School to turn an outdated Industrial Arts program into a tech-inclusive makerspace. Students come to her Industrial Design Lab to learn highly skilled makership that includes woodworking, computer-aided design, engineering, coding, and visual arts.
Photo
Ridley High School
Photo
Ridley High School
Photo
Ridley High School

Session description

We’ll discuss the highs, lows and lessons learned in the process of creating a student-centric and student-designed makerspace that blends academic discovery with creativity and craftsmanship, then lead attendees in a hands-on design challenge.

Purpose & objective

In August of 2021, I was hired to turn an outdated Industrial Arts program into a tech-inclusive makerspace. The students and I walked into an abandoned room filled with decades’ worth of garbage. There were some disassembled saws, an obsolete tv mounted to the wall, and a broken projector filled with sawdust. The school forgot I was coming, so the school year was well underway before I had a laptop, or working wifi. As hilariously bad as the situation was, it was also a golden opportunity to create something brand new: a classroom that could be designed for this new generation of young people; a space in which everyone was invited to investigate and discover and follow their big ideas.
With about half of my students requiring accommodations for a disability, it only made sense to create an environment in which everyone can be welcomed as co-creators. In the words of disability justice leader Stacey Park Milbern, “In disability justice, access is about turning towards each other and figuring out how to collectively create an environment where everyone, especially those historically excluded, can participate.” Students dismantled the splintered tabletops and pulled scrap metal out of the counters. They took down the rusty tools that hung from nails stuck 6’ up on the wall, and built riser steps so that everyone can reach the equipment. They took apart the broken 3D printers that someone donated, diagnosed and fixed them, and designed a usage system that would work around our firewalls and antique wiring.
A year later, that cruddy room is filled with color and bustle. We host math and horticulture classes for interdisciplinary projects. We hold carpentry classes in our working woodshop. Engineering students design earthquake-proof buildings; industrial design students 3D print adaptive prototypes of adaptive devices. We offer student-founded and student-run afterschool clubs in Coding and Engineering, and anyone in the school can join us for Open Studio in the mornings.
These innovative, remarkable young people will join me as co-presenters.
Attendees will . . .
Learn how to use available resources to begin creating a makerspace designed with and for their own students,
Learn how big goals can be translated into lesson plans and educational activities,
Work with students as authentic co-creators,
Produce a self-designed object that meets design criteria, yet is an open-ended outcomeIntroduction from the educator (15 minutes): Using slideshow and video, we’ll look at how we redesigned and rebuilt a dangerous space into a vibrant, inclusive, and technologically driven learning environment, and how students, administration, and the teacher worked together in the development of a new program. Questions for the audience will be posed throughout.
Stories from students (15 minutes): Students will share images, video, and artifacts as they discuss how their individual innovations have been launched from our unique workspace.
Questions and ideas (5 minutes): Audience members pose questions and ideas for the presenters, out loud or via Twitter on-screen.
Hands-on design challenge (20 minutes): Participants will be challenged to design a simple machine on their own or in small groups, using a variety of familiar and unfamiliar materials. Students will have tools and work with audience members.
Share-out (5 minutes) Attendees show off their project and share a takeaway from the design process.
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Outline

Introduction from the educator (15 minutes): Using slideshow and video, we’ll look at how we redesigned and rebuilt a dangerous space into a vibrant, inclusive, and technologically driven learning environment, and how students, administration, and the teacher worked together in the development of a new program. Questions for the audience will be posed throughout.
Stories from students (10 minutes): Students will share images, video, and artifacts as they discuss how their individual innovations have been launched from our unique workspace.
Questions and ideas (5 minutes): Audience members pose questions and ideas for the presenters.

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Supporting research

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D. L., Fleming, L. (2014). The philosophy of educational makerspaces. Teacher Librarian, 41(5), 8. http://www.evergreeneducation.org/itie2016/KurtiArticlePart1.pdf
Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2012). Experiential learning. In Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide/experiential-learning.shtml
American Association of People with Disabilities. In her own words: remembering and honoring Stacey Park Milbern. https://artsandculture.google.com/story/bgVxZmMKoajINA

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Session specifications

Topic:
Innovative learning environments
Grade level:
9-12
Skill level:
Beginner
Audience:
Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: iOS, Windows, Android
Subject area:
Career and technical education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
For Educators:
Designer
  • Explore and apply instructional design principles to create innovative digital learning environments that engage and support learning.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.