Making: Heart & Soul

Details and description.


What happens when you combine MakerED and Design Thinking, two powerful movements in education today? You get a potent concoction of inquiry, engagement and inspiration within an impressively learner-centric classroom. This session will give participants fundamental experiences in aspects of both MakerED and Design Thinking. We’ll discover the opportunities to embed content and skills within the experience as well. Our ultimate goal is to feel the empowerment that builds within the heart and soul of students when they learn to make for others. IMPORTANT NOTE: This will not be a “sit and git” session. You will MAKE!


All education levels.

Slide Deck and Videos

Introductory materials used during the presentation, if any.

NOTE: The deck may not appear as it did during the presentation; SlideShare alters the fonts shown online.

Presenter Resources

Items used as examples during the presentation.

1) Design Thinking and MVIFI’s DEEPdt Playbook

“Design thinking is a people-centered problem solving method that promotes ethnography, empathy and iterative prototyping influenced by user testing. Collaborators are challenged to suspend judgment and leverage insights from a user group or individual to meet the needs derived from discovery and empathetic experiences. Design thinking is not a new way of generating solutions to the problems communities, organizations and people face; however, it has been seen as a very powerful and effective tool for teams to uncover hidden, ambiguous, and unknown truths about the experiences of those they are trying to solve for.”

  • Some pages from book were used in the workshop, but the entire Playbook is available on the MVIFI site for downloading – DEEPdt Playbook

Participant Resources

Items those attending the session used.

1) LEDs

  • Bought as part of the package COM-12062 from SparkFun. Like it says on their page, you can never have too many LEDs! :-)
    • 20 pieces – 5 each of 4 different colors
    • Round, 5mm, T-1 3/4
    • Diffused
    • Lead free and RoHS compliant
Assorted LED pack

2) Coin batteries

  • More specifically, a CR2032VP Lithium 3V 20mm coin battery
  • N189-ND from Digi-Key

3) Copper tape

Copper Tape


Images and artifacts from the session and session attendees.

Workshop - Light-Up Cards at MICON15


Ideas to wrestle with.

  • As a participant, how did your involvement change when the users you were creating for changed?
  • How would your students’ involvement change when the same thing happens?
  • Even if you are teaching in a maker-centered classroom, how would providing authentic users to your students impact the learning in your classroom?
  • What are your obstacles to providing students with real users design in your classes?
  • What support will you need to overcome those obstacles?

Links to More Resources

Additional content found on the web.

Paper Circuits from High-Low Tech – MIT’s High-Low Tech group was one of the first places to begin exploring the creative possibilities of circuits made with copper tape. This page includes lots of examples for ways to produce circuits with different kinds of switches.
Electronic Popables from High-Low Tech – Again the group from MIT set the stage for how pop-up books could be enhanced with paper circuits. (Be sure to watch the video on this page!)
Pu Gong Ying Tu (Dandelion Painting) from High-Low Tech – The source of the video at the right, this page highlights the possibilities of programmable paintings.
Circuit Stickers from Chibitronics – A beautifully packaged supply of special stickers and sensors that will allow you to bring your paper circuits into more directions than you ever thought possible.
K12Lab from Stanford’s – The place to go to learn about design thinking’s role in schools, from the folks that helped bring design thinking to school!

Contacts for your PLN

People to add to your personal learning network.

Chris Connors – Creative Computing Art Teacher at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. An incredibly resourceful MakerEd educator that consistently comes up with great project ideas to help get kids “fussing with stuff!” His TapeTricity Card idea is what inspired the project for this workshop!

Tagline: “Making things is the best way to learn about our world.”


Chris Andres – Lower School teacher at the Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, and exceptional practitioner of design thinking in the classroom. If you want to know more about the power, potential, and purpose of using design thinking with students, look no further than Chris. You can find him regularly contributing to the #dtk12chat conversations on Twitter, and the #WeirdEd convo too! :-)

Tagline: “Inspiring students, through any means necessary, to dream about possibility, to search for truth, to experience life and serve others.”


Sometimes discussions and questions take us on a brief tangent to other cool things…

Sparks – Fun icebreaking activities that help bond a group, and get creative energy levels raised. The best sparks come from Improv organizations.


Dates of presentations, and items specific to those sessions.

Your turn. Any thoughts to share?