How to Elevate Cardboard Projects in Your Makerspace
The very first maker project that introduced my students to the maker culture was designing cardboard arcade games, and the project became the catalyst for designing a makerspace for our school community. This was a great learning experience all around; however, we quickly realized there were some limitations to the building techniques we used for our cardboard projects.
My students would work so hard building and constructing games all week long using masking tape and duct tape, and then on Monday morning they would return to find most of the tape had come loose due to the humidity in the building. It was so discouraging, especially when they would use even more tape to fix it and the same thing would happen all over again.
Why Use Makedo™?
If there is anything I want my kids to learn while making, it’s this: When something doesn’t work, you figure out a way to solve the problem instead of continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results. I needed to find a way to stop using so much tape and solve our problem!
Fortunately, I learned about some really cool connectors that looked as if they could be the solution to our problem: Makedo connectors. Since we started using them, they have changed making in my library makerspace for the better!
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What Is Makedo?
Makedo connectors are sturdy, plastic, reusable connectors that allow for easy cardboard construction for builders of all ages. Makedo scrus (screws) come in two different sizes, with the longer scrus enabling students to connect several layers of cardboard.
Makedo also offers two different tools that are kid friendly and make creating with cardboard a breeze.
The scrudriver is necessary when using the scrus and works with both sizes of scrus. Kids love using tools, yet some tools are not safe for young children; these are safe and can be used by school-aged makers.
The safe-saw enables kids to safely cut through cardboard using one of two sides, each featuring different sized saw teeth. It also has a punch tool at the end of the handle to safely punch the initial hole for the plastic scrus. Before we owned safe-saws, I would run around like crazy helping kids with their projects by cutting boxes with an X-acto® knife or box cutter. The safe-saws allow kids to work independently on their projects, and wait time is a thing of the past. Students often frequently borrow these tools for classroom projects as well.
How Can Makedo Enhance Making?
I soon learned that there are many benefits to using Makedo with our cardboard projects, including the following:
- Students are able to be independent while making.
- Students are able to complete projects more quickly and with less mess.
- Makedo connectors are sturdy and reusable from year to year, making them budget friendly.
- Makedo kits come in a variety of sizes for large or small projects.
- Student work is better quality, and projects are not covered in tape that doesn’t hold.
- Cardboard designs and prototypes can become much more intricate and functional; whatever a child imagines, it can become a reality.
- Students are so proud of their work when they complete it on their own.
- Students from kindergarten on up can use them.
- As a teacher, I feel completely comfortable allowing students to use all of the Makedo materials.
When to Use Makedo
We use Makedo for multiple projects throughout the year. Below you will see a few maker projects constructed by my third-grade students for our cardboard arcade games challenge. Not only do we use Makedo connectors for this project, we also use them for Genius Hour projects and constructing catapults, among other things. Really, anything that involves cardboard calls for Makedo!