When the Maker-faire project was first introduced to us, we expected an entire year of research towards a certain social issue or problem, and large amounts of work time with a group, brainstorming a solution. But obviously, we were just intimidated and clueless to how casual and laid-back PLTW really is. I’ve found a hidden love for programs like Adobe Illustrator, and machines like our laser cutter. And after so much time into using these tools, now we have to make a decision about what were going to make that will let us remember this class and every tool its given us for the future.
We find people with our interests, we brainstorm a solution to a problem, but then what? After we’ve finished this project I’m sure we’ll feel proud of ourselves and all the other feelings that come along with it, but what is it about this project that teaches us our 8th grade leadership skills: open-mindedness, justice/fairness, forgiveness, etc? It’s something that you really don’t know until the end. This issue that we’re trying to solve, doesn’t even have to be an issue in the first place. I know that my project (a musical instrument/art piece) doesn’t exactly solve a social issue like poverty or cancer, but we’ve succeeded the class regardless. We’ve created something out of nothing, with skills we had to learn with our own curiosity and ambition.
I didn’t save the polar bears or end social discrimination, but sometimes the same steps need to be taken to create something entirely new, with or without experience of PLTW.