Ok, so this one's easy.
You've got this awesome space, full of amazing tools, technologies and trinkets.
Kids go to lunch every day. Remember the school cafeteria? Was it one of your favorite places to go? In middle school?
It wasn't ... for me.
So when kids in grades 7 & 8 figured out they could come to my room with their lunches & their friends ... to eat, tinker, explore and play ... they were all over it.
Now, every day, my room is besieged with chatty middle schoolers catching up with each other, eating, designing things in 3D, playing with some of our robots, doing homework, or just doodling on our dye-eraseable desks.
It's my lunch period. I gladly wolf down the same thing every day, a PB&J on rice cakes ... in about 47 seconds. Then I just float around the room, answering questions, helping kids design, tinker, play and explore. They know what to do, I'm just there if they get stuck. (Most of the time, the kids help each other, or, I direct another kid to do help.)
The other time this happens is my 'prep.' I've always found the concept of a 'prep' period laughable. (I know, it's a contractual thing.) My 'prep' is every moment I'm awake, starting at approximately 3am most days. So, having kids invade my studio during that time isn't inconvenient or an imposition, it's an honor. Especially for the kids who are coming in, the ones who want to, the ones who NEED to. Get what I'm sayin'?
Middle school can be a pretty rough place. Why not use your superpowers for good and provide an oasis of fun, creativity and wonder during the day?
Beats the heck out of eating alone. Or in the Faculty Lounge. :) At least for me!
So, I'm gonna interview some of these kids, and find out how this helps encourage the maker spirit. Watch this space!