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Exploratory Learning: Books

This guide features information on Library MakerSpaces designed to promote creativity, curiosity, discovery and innovation.

Philosophy of Makerspace for Students

How to Develop Student-Centered Design Challenges

Starfish Education has created a mini video series, as well as a blog full of ideas, to address bringing STEM challenges into your library and classroom. The first video in this five-part series is included below. 

Inspiration for Activities

Folk Tale & Fairy Tale Challenges

Fairy Tale / Folk Tale

Challenge Idea

The 3 Little Pigs

Design and build a home to keep the pig safe from the wolf. Use a blow dryer to be the wolf and test your house.

Blog post linked here.

Jack & the Beanstalk

Design and build the tallest beanstalk that will support the most weight.

Design and build a method to get Jack safely down from the giant's home in the clouds. This activity could also be used with The Princess and the Pea, to design a method for the princess to get down safely from atop the mattresses. 

Sample challenge linked here.

3 Billy Goats Gruff

Design and build a bridge that will hold all 3 goats. 

Sample challenge linked here.

Rapunzel Design and build pulley to raise the the prince up to the tower. Bonus if you can also lower the prince and the princess back down again. This activity could also be done with The Frog Prince, designing a pulley to retrieve the ball from the well.
Henny Penny Design and build something to protect Henny Penny when the sky begins to fall.
Little Red Riding Hood

Design and build a basket to hold the most weight.

Design and build a method to get this basket safely to grandma's house, and avoid the wolf. 

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

Design a lock or latch for the bears' door to keep Goldilocks out.

Design and build a new bed/chair for baby bear.  (hint:  Use a soup can to represent baby bear)

Pied Piper of Hamlin Design and build a musical instrument to lead the rats out of town.
Pinocchio Design and build a puppet friend for Pinocchio.
The Elves and the Shoemaker Using the provided materials, design and construct a shoe to fit one of your teammates. 

Use pipe cleaners (or any other materials you prefer) to design and create animals to pull Cinderella's coach.  Your coach could be an actual pumpkin, or use your Sphero robot or similar tool. 

Design a gown for Cinderella to wear to the ball. 

Gingerbread Man

Design and build a trap for the gingerbread man.

Design and build something to get the gingerbread man safely across the water without getting wet.

Tortoise and the Hare

Design and build a method for the tortoise to beat the hare with speed, not just cleverness.  Or design and build a device to wake the hare in time to beat the tortoise.  Who do you choose?

Website with possible science and building connections linked here. 


Nursery Rhyme Challenges

Humpty Dumpty

Design and build a device to protect Humpty from his fall.  Can you keep him from falling in the first place? 

Design and build a device to raise Humpty back to the top of the wall. 

Jack and Jill Design and build a device to safely carry a bucket of water down the hill without spilling. 
Little Miss Muffet Design and build a spider trap. 
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Use paper circuits or basic circuitry kits to design your own twinkling stars. 
Jack be Nimble

Design and build a catapult to launch Jack safely over the candlestick.

This could also be done with Hey Diddle Diddle to catapult the cow over the moon.

Rub a Dub Dub Design and build a boat to carry the 3 characters across the water. 
Hickory Dickory Dock Program your robot (ie. Dash, Ozobot, Beebot, etc) so that it can go up and down the clock. This could also be designed in Scratch. 


Chapter Books for Making

Building Your Maker Bookshelf

The following resources are available in Overdrive. 

Web Accessibility