How might I get more at-risk and underserved students to explore Maker technology and possibilities?

So far I learned that just making it available isn't enough!

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I want my Maker Club and my Engineering class to serve all students. I'm perfectly happy getting the "geeks and nerds"--in fact, they're an essential element. But I want to get more kids involved. So far, I've had little success in the after school program at outreach beyond the usual suspects. However, the after-school team has been committed to exploring in such a way that we can offer easy first steps to less experienced newcomers, which is great. We're not just meeting and making, but building for the future.

However, the most successful piece of our program is our Maker Flextime session, a 30 minute period after lunch. Here, we're getting a huge draw from all areas of the school. Attached is a picture of our Glider competition, where the most consistent winner was Darius (in the red teeshirt) , and four of my ELL students came and competed, as well as a whole bunch of girls. We've had bridge modeling software that allows kids to create a bridge and test a truck over it, and Styrofoam cup devices that show off the Magnus effect. So our next step is to figure out how to get these successful flextimes to draw in kids after school.

So far, what I've learned is that building it doesn't always mean they'll come. But it's a good first step!


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