I am always on the lookout for low tech items that will enhance a Makerspace.
One of the key things I look for are materials that are easily adaptable and supportive of
Childrens creativity, designs, and solutions. I also consider whether I can easily set out the materials and have them accessible at all times. Most important, finding those materials that can be used independently and don’t necessarily require instructions before use. Following is an example of a product that exemplifies the types of features that make it a great low tech item for a Makerspace.
Recently I came across Brackitz building and engineering system, an innovative and inviting building set. Recipient of the Purdue University’s seal of approval for promoting engineering thinking and design, the beauty of Brackitz is its simplicity. Brackitz consists of 3 way and 4 way hub connectors along with short and long planks that have adjustable connections leaving room for infinite creations, creative engineering and problem based learning. The pieces are larger than traditional building sets making it easier for younger inventors to create, take apart, and create again. I recently included Brackitz at a Makerspace I set up at the Ohio State Fair. Surprisingly, parents were equally engaged in building alongside their children. One parent built a framework of his dream home!
Brackitz also has expansion sets including wheels , pulleys and gears which dovetail nicely into simple machines and other science and math standards. Free age specific and standards aligned curriculum is also included. Brackitz is an excellent example of materials that have no ceiling and no basement, provide no limits on imagination, easy to use, and lend themselves to support specific concepts in the classroom regardless of age.
This is the second in a series on Makerspaces and materials that enhance those spaces.