LEGO Month

LEGO Extravaganza

For 4 weeks our Makerspace Spark was open to the entire school for a special Lego Event. Through a series of LEGO challenges students were encouraged through the art of play in learning to further develop a mindset of creativity, curiosity and innovation.  Many programs throughout the year in Spark support and extend Pike’s mission to develop lifelong, independent learners with a creative spirit.  See a recap in the form of many pictures and videos below:

Upper School students working together to take the make letters out of LEGOs challenge.

Lower School students working together to design a bridge and car that will withstand an earthquake.

Designing and testing marble mazes with Lower School students

A Middle School student tests how far she can build out with LEGO bricks from a wall

Middle School students challenge themselves to follow steps and build something behind a curtain without looking.

Some couldn’t resist the urge to sort by color!

And a lot of cool structures were made to be part of our tiny city called Pike Micropolis, and there were many more activities.

The Apple Store made by some Upper School students

Another Pike Micropolis creation

You may be interested in exploring resources for using LEGOs in your own classroom.  There are so many inventive possibilities. See some resources below. If you are ever looking for ways to bring LEGO into your classroom please let the Tech Department know.  

  • This blog post by the Excited Educator offers a LEGO Design Challenge that works with students in grades 6 – 8.
  • Here are several cool LEGO Activity ideas via the Educating Young Engineers website.
  • This Teaching Ideas website has a huge range of ways to use LEGOs in the classroom with activity ideas for many subjects.
  • There even has been some recent news about a new LEGO Educator program for anyone who wants to learn more about helping students develop the skills and knowledge to create, innovate and learn via LEGOs.


3D Printed Cookie Cutters

A #throwback post to before winter break.  We (The Tech Department) wanted to challenge ourselves to make something with the 3D printer in the Makerspace.  With winter break coming we decided to all design a cookie cutter in Tinkercad (A free tool that allows you to make 3D designs for printing) or Cookie Caster (a site specifically for designing your own cookie cutters) and then make cookies.

To give an idea of the process for 3D printing, after you use a 3D design tool like those listed above,  you generate a .stl file that can be sent to a 3D printer.  Here is an example of what the final design that is sent to the printer looks like:

In our case, we currently use a NVBot 3D printer.  Here it is in action printing all of our cookie cutters.

A picture of a 3D printed Cookie Cutter in action:

Once the cookies were baked we invited the Pike Community to come up to the Tech Department Office to sample our selection.  We really had fun with this challenge and thank everyone for helping us eat the results (see pictures below that include Pike Positron cookies, Android Bot cookies, iPad cookies and Yoda cookies).  If anyone is looking for ideas to use the 3D printer with students or for classroom materials please reach out to us.

Speech Makerspace Project

This week we are sharing a video of a Makerspace project that was completed in 7th grade Speech class this winter. Watch the 4 minute video above or click here to see how students used Spark for a collaborative demonstration speech project.  If you are inspired by these projects and would like to find ways to make this spring or plan for next year please be in touch.

Thanks to Lis and the 7th grade students for helping with the video!

Large-Scale Building | Makerspace May

Welcome to the final week of Makerspace May!  Watch the above video or click here to watch Lower School Pike students using our new large-scale building kit called Rigamajig (3 minutes).  You can learn more about Rigamajig by watching this video (2.5 minutes) made by the creators of the kit as well if you are interested.  Please consider coming to Spark this week to check out activities related to all the videos this month, including the opportunity to make a large creation with the Rigamajig.

Thanks for watching our videos this month!  If you have any questions, or need help planning for ideas for next year please let us know.
-The Tech Department
#makerspacemay @PikeSchool

3D Printing|Makerspace May

Welcome to week 3 of Makerspace May!  The theme of this week is 3D Printing.  Watch the above video (5 minutes) or click here to see many students and some teachers speak about the first year of using 3D printing technology at Pike.  You can also come to Spark and try TinkerCad to get a quick sense of what it is like to design something for 3D printing.  The bridge building and circuit challenges will also be available for you to try.  Come on your own, bring a partner or work with your team and learn about the possibilities of our makerspace.

To access many 3D printing teaching resources visit Project Ignite.

Many thanks to all the faculty and students who contributed to the video!

-The Tech Department
#makerspacemay @PikeSchool

Makerspace May Week 2

Welcome to week 2 of Makerspace May!  The theme of this week is circuits.  We have 2 short informative videos about using circuits this week.  Watch Linda Spence talk about her English Circuit project above or click here (less than 4 minutes) and you can learn more about paper circuitry and 21st century notebooking here (less than 2 minutes).  Lastly, please come to Spark and complete a short and easy circuit challenge (15 minutes).  The bridge building challenge from last week will also be available.  Come on your own, bring a partner or work with your team and learn about the possibilities of our makerspace.

See below for more circuitry teaching resources:
21st Century Notebooking
How To Wire Multiple LED’s in a Parallel Circuit
Circuit Teacher Resources

Makerspace May Week 1

Welcome to week 1 of Makerspace May!  The theme of this week is building.  Watch the video above, or click here (about 5 minutes) and if you have a chance visit Spark to complete a bridge building challenge (15 minutes) at any point this week.  Can you build a bridge with limited materials?  Come on your own, bring a partner or work with your team and find out.

Many thanks to all the faculty and students who contributed to the video!

Enjoy and don’t forget to take a selfie with your bridge!

-The Tech Department

#makerspacemay @PikeSchool

Makerspace May

We are excited to announce that the Tech Department has declared next month Makerspace May. Each week we will share a short video with some information about the benefits of using our Makerspace.  In conjunction with the video, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to come to Spark and experience an activity related to the video at any point during the week.  We are hoping that everyone at Pike will have a fun time making this May, and that it might spark some cool ideas for next year!  Be on the lookout for our first video on Monday May 2.


All Lower School students have had a chance to collaborate this year to program a KIBO robot in Spark, our Makerspace.   During their visit, students were introduced to the definition of a robot and the concept of programming.  These robot themed books were helpful to introduce the unit in the classroom:

In addition, students were exposed to the engineering design process since their challenge was to:

  • ASK
  • PLAN
  • TEST

KIBO is a robot kit specifically designed for young children aged 4-7 years old.  In pairs, students created a sequence of instructions (a program) using the wooden KIBO blocks.

They scan the blocks with the KIBO body to tell the robot what to do. Next, they pressed the button and the robot came alive (See video below).

If you would like to learn more, check out this interesting article about how to teach KIBO to young children in early education that appeared in The Economist.