Making Knowlegde Relevant Alexis Miller

Do you ever have trouble finding use for projects? Wondering how something so simple is important? Questions like these helped to shape or projects for the Maker Fair. We were challenged to create a relevant project that displays our skills learned in PLTW. My group decided to make a checker board and the challenge was on to find a way to connect it to class.

What is the typical way to make a checkerboard? Wrong! We had to think in not so typical ways to connect a checkerboard to technology. How could I demonstrate my knowledge through a checkerboard? We had previously learned how to use a laser cutter and a 3D printer so I used those in the production process of the board and pieces. My group had to complete an extra module to become better educated in the use of the 3D printer. Once we completed our last module we were ready to begin this semi-complex process of using technology to make a checkerboard set. After we decided to use the laser cutter and 3D printer we had to devide up the assignments by who had mastery in what building process.

Now we had a project, but what would we do with it? This is another very important factor when thinking about making something. Why make it if it has no use? My group decided to donate our project to the library so we could share our work with the whole school and possibly encourage others to become familiar with tools in the maker space. As a whole, my group realized that we had more motivation as we found a purpose for our project. Yes, this included extra steps necessary to make the checkerboard relevant to the PLTW class but it was much more beneficial  to make it relevant to class and use our knowledge.
The first thing I have learned is to show that all things can be relevant you just have to be willing to take an extra step and to think outside of the box. The second thing I have learned from this process it is that you should use as many connections needed to apply your own knowledge and make it relevant.

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