Santa Clause Becomes Iron Man, Youths Make Their Own Christmas Gifts

It turns out that these students had been busy being innovative makers for the past two months, to come up with creative ways to celebrate Christmas. In the morning of December 4th, they had all their creative works ready to share with everybody. On that day, the maker Christmas “Being Myself, I’m Good at It” achievement exhibition was held at the Taipei City Youth Development Office. Former minister of K-12 Education Administration, MOE, Mr. Ching-Shan Wu was invited to support the students. The little makers explained their creations to the public, some of them were “Attack on Santa Clause,” “Santa Clause Easy Delivery” and “Cardboard Iron Man.” These unique Christmas gifts were all made by students from the fourth grade to the eighth grade, out of recycled materials, with 3D printing, 3D modeling, laser cutting and paper modeling, together with Arduino boards, motors, LEDs, polylactic acid and other electronic components.

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Group photo of Maker Christmas “Being Myself, I’m Good at It” achievement exhibition. (Provided by the organizer)

The works appeared in this achievement exhibition were all made by the students in their free time. They were the students who went to the 8 professional maker lessons in all the Youth Creative Space organized by the Taipei City Youth Development Office this October and November. Throughout this course, the teachers taught and assisted the students to recycle garbage with technology, and let them use their own creativity by setting no limits for the lessons. “I love coming to classes like these. They are so much fun! Anything I want to do, the teacher will help me make it!” Said student Yian Wang (王以安).

Everybody in the Youth Creative Space became a little Maker, who used the 3D printer and the laser cutter, to help finish the Christmas gifts. “The works are a little complex. These kids still manage to assemble them over and over again by themsevles. At first, it could be a missing screw, or a misplaced screw, but they would all start over, and I appreciate that!” Said Miss Maker Pin-hua Wang.

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The “Cardboard Iron Man” is made entirely by laser cutting. On the left is student Yusen Wu (吳宇森). (Provided by the organizer)

“Me and my kids all enjoy the maker course very much. It inspires them to think, learn, produce and complete. Even I have a sense of accomplishment just by watching them. I think this is the best Christmas gift.” Said the mother of student Shengya Lin (林聖雅). “Throughout the course of operating, the kids learn that talking about something is different from actually doing it. Everything requires practice and execution to complete.” Mr. Bob Chen from Open Lab added.

Former minister Mr. Ching-Shan Wu mentioned in his speech that the popularization of maker culture relies on 3 P’s: people, place and product. People means the creative interaction between the students and the teacher, place is the Youth Creative Space, and product means something innovative. These 3 elements helped to achieve the result of this event, which only goes to show the effectiveness of the maker education promotion at the Taipei City Youth Development Office.

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The “Attack on Santa Clause, Defeating the Dwarfs” is made of PET bottles, PVC pipes and rubber balls. (Provided by the organizer)

All the students’ creations were exhibited in the lobby of the Taipei City Youth Development Office until December 11th. The “Cardboard Iron Man” was the most popular of them all. There was also the electric vehicle modified from classroom desk and chair that runs on electricity and motor to help Santa with his delivery, and to also help him de-stress from his work, a huge air gun was made for him to shoot the dwarfs. What was even more interesting was that these kids also turned the Supa Mop into a Christmas ornament that dances to music using LED lights. Such an adorable idea from kids really made everybody’s day.

According to the Taipei City Youth Development Office, this was the first achievement exhibition from the students, and also the beginning of their creativity. In this holiday season, they got the opportunity to share their collaborative creation with everybody. In the future, the Taipei City Youth Development Office will also work with the zoo to develop a Pangolin Maker Course. The Maker Field Trip starting next year will also let the students choose their own maker topics that they want to learn.

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