Bring the Maker Mindset to Kids

Learn about maker education and how to help students persevere through simple electronics, sewing and coding projects.
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Instructed by Liz Greaser Teacher Training / Other
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  • Lectures 32
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 6/2016 English

Course Description

This course is for teachers, parents and/or elementary and middle school students who want to learn more about the maker movement and how to encourage a maker mindset. This is a hands-on class and a supply list will be provided. Topics include: simple electronics, introductory sewing projects and detailed lessons on how to use the icon-based programming language, Scratch. Together, we will take apart small electronics, sew a wristband, make a hand-sewn flashlight and learn how to integrate coding across the curriculum.

What are the requirements?

  • The videos walk you through a variety of hands-on projects covering basic electronics, hand-sewing and creative coding techniques. Students can follow along with the projects by purchasing the supplies and materials ahead of time.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Jump into the maker movement!
  • Learn how electronics, sewing and coding can be used with elementary and middle school students.
  • Embrace elementary science and empower your students with a maker mindset.
  • Learn about basic circuits, batteries and discover hands-on activities to use in a classroom.
  • Learn how to incorporate hand-sewing into your classroom with these fun and educational activities.
  • Discover simple hand-sewing projects that you can prepare ahead of time.
  • Make a sewn LED flashlight.
  • Learn about the icon-programming language, Scratch, and how to use it in a classroom
  • Write a program to make your "sprite" move.
  • Change digital images using the paint editor.
  • Use the xy-grid to make sprites move to specific locations in your program.
  • Learn key programming concepts using Scratch.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for teachers, parents and/or students who want to learn more about how to things are made. This is a hands-on class and a supply list will be provided. Topics include basic electronics, introductory sewing projects and learning how to use the icon-based programming language, Scratch. This is a beginning course and the emphasis is on hands-on activities. No prior experience is required.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: What is the Maker Mindset

In this video, Liz defines the maker mindset and describes why she wants you to use it with your students.


For more information on William Kamkwamba, check out the links that have been provided.


In this article, you will find a list of supplies used in this course. In addition, you can find articles on exploratory research into the maker movement and its use in education.

Section 2: CareBear Take Down

When handling electronics, safety is of the utmost importance. Not all electronics are safe to dismantle with children. In addition to safety concerns, learn how to ask questions before your students take apart an old toy.


In this video, Liz takes a apart a keychain LED flashlight.  Learn why taking apart something is a fun and educational activity to do with kids.

Section 3: Batteries and Circuits

A brief warning about what could go wrong when you combine batteries, wires and output components.


After watching this video, students will be able to set up battery-powered lessons for their own classroom (or homeschool). 

Section 4: Conductors and Insulators

After watching this video, students will learn how to set up an activity that shows the difference between a conductor and an insulator. 

Section 5: Electronics Wrap-Up

After watching this video, teachers will have an open-ended project that they can use with their students. Participants will make a simple LED flashlight using Lectrify components, pipe cleaners, a paper-towel roll and some tape.


This video contains numerous examples of creative ways to incorporate electronics with students. Examples include: electronic origami using copper tape, paper circuits using conductive ink, illuminated embroidered art, as well as painted art projects that glow. 


This article contains a list of supplies that were mentioned in the video lecture, "Circuit Art & Other Electronic Items for Kids." Additional books, articles and research are also included.

Section 6: Why Sewing?

In this video, Liz talks about why sewing is a valuable part of the maker mindset. 


This page contains research articles, books and web links on sewing with children. 


At the end of this video lesson, teachers will be equipped with a simple "maker" activity to do with their students. Increase observation skills by taking apart a piece of clothing. 

Section 7: Hand-Sewing with Kids

In a Montessori primary classroom (ages 2.5 - 7), sewing is a key component of the classroom. Sewing activities help with fine motor skills and increase concentration. At the end of this video, teachers will have a number of activities to use with young children. 


In this video, teachers will learn what sewing skills should be taught first. Liz provides a few hands-on activities to use with a large group of students. 


At the end of this lesson, students will have a personalized wristband that they made themselves. 

Section 8: Combining sewing and electronics

In this lengthy video, Liz shows how to re-purpose the LED flashlight parts from Lesson 4 into a hand-sewn LED flashlight. If you do not have the parts from Lesson 4, you can use a plain LED and a coin cell battery. The supply list is provided in Lesson 17. 

Section 9: Sewing Resources Wrap-up

A supply list is provided for all of the sewing videos. In addition to the supply list, other activities and resources are mentioned.

Section 10: What's the big deal with learning how to code?

In this video, Liz talks about why she thinks creative coding is a great thing to use with students. 

Section 11: Scratch 1.4 vs. Scratch 2.0

Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, and has been in use since 2007. Decide which version of Scratch is right for you and your students.

Download Scratch
Section 12: Deconstructing a Program

In the electronics module, we took apart a flashlight. In the sewing module, we took apart a t-shirt. In this video, we will take apart a simple Scratch program. 

Section 13: How to use Scratch

Learn how to make Scratch the cat move across the screen. You will use the wait blocks to slow down the program so we can actually see him move.


In this video, you will learn how to create conversations between characters, how to draw your own sprite and how to use controls to time your animation.


Now that you've learned a little bit about how to use Scratch, try out these challenges and see what you can create.

Scratch Challenge #2: Draw a shape with coordinates
Scratch Challenge #3: Animate a Bird
Section 14: Using Scratch across the Curriculum

Teachers will discover a number of ways to incorporate computer coding into their curriculum. Examples (and common core standards) are given for projects about: geography, science, language arts and math.


This article briefly describes the difference between Scratch 1.4 and Scratch 2.0. It also provides links on where you can download both offline editors.


In this article, Liz has provided web resources and books to further your knowledge of the programming language, Scratch. You will also find a number of research articles about Scratch.

Section 15: Thank You!
Thank you!

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Instructor Biography

Liz Greaser, Montessori Tech Librarian

My name is Liz Greaser and I like to make things. For the past four years I have been using hands-on materials to teach robotics and programming to elementary and middle school students. I am passionate about lifelong learning, as well as helping kids to follow their own interests. I have a master's degree in library and information science and consider myself a lifelong student.  As it is, I have many different interests, but my background in Montessori education has led me to being a hands-on educator, with a special emphasis on creating with technology, not just consuming it. If you want to see more projects, I keep a blog at Artisan Education. Go forth and be creative!

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