We have all sorts of building materials in B.O.S.S. HQ (Building of Super Stuff HeadQuarters) – from Legos to Magnatiles. During the first quarter of our after-school Maker Club adventures this year, the students rotated through different building materials each week. To make things interesting, they were given building challenges. I wanted to make the challenges a little bit of surprise, so I grabbed ideas from all over the internet and put them in to one spreadsheet that was a template from Flippity.net. You can make a copy of the Google Sheet template here. After you make your own copy, you can plug in whatever random ideas you have on the first worksheet. Then, go to File-Publish to Web, and paste the link you are given on to the 2nd worksheet in the space provided. Flippity.net will give you a link for the your new random chooser.
If you don’t want to build your own random chooser, you can just use mine. This tool from Flippity.net is supposed to help you choose student names randomly, but it works for anything you type into the spreadsheet cells. I just happened to want building ideas. On my Flippity page, all the students need to do is choose the random icon, and they are given an idea for building. (Be sure to click on the “Single Name” tab at the top rather than using the Spinner tool.)
I’ve found that it helps to have a bit of a focus for activities like this, as students sometimes find the challenge makes them even more creative, and they enjoy seeing how other students solve the same problem.
For more Makerspace articles, check out my Makerspace Essentials page!