Photo By: Courtesy of Michelle Sturiale
Santa Rita School fourth-graders in Carlie Mix’s class display their design solutions for everyday problems at the inaugural “Maker Faire.”
Santa Rita School fourth-grade teacher Carlie Mix challenged her students this year with an assignment to design and build projects of their own choosing to find solutions to everyday problems.
“Each student was assigned a partner for this project, for the focus was not on oneself, but instead practicing empathy by finding a solution to someone else’s problem,” Mix said.
During the course of the assignment, students interviewed fellow classmates, identified problems, brainstormed solutions and built prototype designs (the solutions).
The problems solved ranged from having a messy desk, having a hard time brainstorming, having difficulty hearing the teacher in class or having trouble losing things.
“Students could create any solution, as long as it solved the problem,” Mix said. “Technology, money and physical limitations were not considered. This allowed students to truly think creatively and think outside the box.”
After students wrote explanatory paragraphs, created posters and designed advertisements for their products, the project culminated in a student-organized “Maker Faire,” where they unveiled their designs for the school and the community.
“It was a great event where students were able to present their solutions,” said Mix of the inaugural “Maker Faire.” “Every student was able to show something they made – making everyone a ‘maker.’”