Although it’s great to allow students to use their imaginations, they will generally feel overwhelmed if you give them infinite choices. For example, if you say, “Build something out of Legos,” many students will either spend most of their time figuring out what to build or attempt to build something they have already done in the past. So, a couple of years ago I thought I would randomize some Makerspace Building Challenges for my students by using a tool called Flippity. Instead of building “something,” they might be urged to build an amusement park ride or a shelter for a natural disaster, for example. You can find my post on using the tool here.
In this recent post from Laura Fleming, you can find even better Makerspace Challenges using Flippity. Her first version randomly selects building techniques and materials to spark the imagination. Her second version uses S.C.A.M.P.E.R., which is a great innovation tool that I describe a bit more in detail in this blog post. Laura gives full instructions for how to use her Flippity challenges and how to modify them for your own use in her post.
I have a post on 5 Resources for Design Thinking Challenges here. For my list of Makerspace Essentials, including Laura’s book, Worlds of Making, click here. (Laura also has a new book, called The Kickstart Guide to Making Great Makerspaces.)