The Maker Teaching Aid Exchange was held on November 2 at the Kaohsiung Software Technology Park by Maker Inn and the Kaohsiung-Pingtung-Penghu-Taitung Regional Branch of Workforce Development Agency. Nearly a hundred teachers and university students participated in the event. Three maker teachers demonstrated how they use creative teaching aids to inspire elementary and junior high students to think like makers in their study process to solve problems.
Make your own toys, autonomous toys and biomimetic arms
Mr. Zongzheng Lin (林宗正), advocate of “science-toy-maker” and director of academic affairs, Shengli Elementary School, brought various creative maker and educational teaching aids like autonomous toys, excavators, car jacks, syringe hydraulic pressure robotic arms, magnetic standing sign, and electric vehicles. The excavators made out of lunch boxes, straws and syringes. The autonomous toys made with laser cutting. Every item teaches the students to do, think and solve problems in certain ways. Through experiments and errors, students learn the true meanings behind everything.
The autonomous toy “Adawawa” makes use of gravity excursion to move on its own. Different levels of weight and friction will result in different levels of speed. Mr. Lin also took his students to study how stag beetles hunt, and designed the stag beetle robotic arm to stress the importance of biomimetics in modern technology.
Shengli Elementary School established the first maker base in Kaohsiung last year. When asked by the parents what maker education is, Mr. Lin answered that it is about training students to become digitally independent and capable of using digital tools. He also stressed that “the key is to choose the right tools and materials to accomplish what you are trying to do, and eventually solve the problem”.
Wireless charging electric vehicle that combines maker technology and life
Wireless charging is seen in more and more of our everyday devices, but how exactly does it work? Science teacher Mr. Ho-Chieh Wu of Guoguang Laboratory School, National Sun Yat-sen University led his students to create the wireless charging electric vehicle, which is remotely controlled through bluetooth and RFID. With the cloud energy management system, you can use it to transfer the wireless solar energy into the electric vehicle. He also demonstrated how to control and charge the vehicle through a smartphone.
This seemingly advanced technology is actually a wireless launcher/receiver made of batteries, wires, transistors, LEDs and Yakult bottles. Mr. Wu taught his students about wireless transfer through the process of making. “Maker technology and education need to be combined with what we do every day, and wireless transfer will be applied to every aspect of our daily lives”.
According to Mr. Wu, the activity of “inquiry” in the course explores the elements that affect the performance of the wireless power transfer system, by changing the variables. He also said that inquiry consists of thinking and problem solving. Its purpose and value meet those of the maker spirit. As in solving problems through studying, creating and sharing. He has uploaded the entire content of his teaching in videos to the “Creative Maker Campus Development Courses Website,” so that everybody learn and enjoy maker technology.
Children of the Yacht Kingdom, build your own ships
Mr. Ming-Che Kuo of Living Technology Department, Gangshan High School devotes his passion of shipbuilding into his teaching, and leads his students to experience the design and production of model ships. This not only broadens their knowledge in shipbuilding and the ocean, but also trains them to think and solve problems for themselves.
You can easily find many boat design websites with a lot of different ships out there. Mr. Kuo encourages his students to search online for ships they like, and build them for themselves. They start by using hull design software, computer-aided manufacturing, and then automatic identification system and energy system, to fully understand how AIS helps in maritime safety, and learn to think about the entire navigation system.
Mr. Kuo said that even though there are tools to help you design, the most important thing about shipbuilding is still basic woodworking, and what you want to make. “There are many ways to build a ship as long as you have the imagination. New equipment today can help you make all kinds of ships and take a lot less time and work than it used to. What’s important is to combine both knowledge and technology.”
While teaching his students how to design ships, he mentioned that “Taiwan is a country surrounded by sea, and is known as the Yacht Kingdom, yet we can’t set sail on the sea anytime we want,” hoping to make a difference in the ocean control policies. Even though Taiwan has strict control of sea areas, the students of Gangshan High School are still able to sail the ships they design in the school swimming pool and enjoy the fun of being a maker.