Architecture Challenge

For our last day of term we had another cardboard creativity challenge.

We had looked at some of the work of architect Frank Gehry, and some new cardboard engineering methods. The Challenge was to make a model building, les than 40cm x 40cm x 40cm. Some were inspired by Mr Gehry some seemed to come from the pupils own imagination.

A video from the start of the process.

And after some progress was made:

The Final Products

Along with some of the planning sheets.

The children showed an amazing amount of creativity. They are also now great at solving problems and not giving up.

Buildings Built

We have finally finished our rather epic Makerspace project.

We started at the start of term, researching famous buildings. The class them picked a building ( a lot of Big Bens) and got into pairs, trios or decided to work by them selves. They them produced a design and planed how they were going to make their models.

A plan for Big Ben

We then had quite a few sessions of building, making, breaking & problem solving. We made some amazing models and learn a lot.

Earlier this week we invited the rest of the school to view our work and to be inspired to make their own models. We had a fun afternoon.

Share our Stem

Today we used the models again on our open classroom morning the parents who attended seemed very impressed.

We also used out ICT & design skills to create posters about the building we were working on. I think the class did a great job of laying out their information & images, we concentrated on alignment, attribution & readability:

Display board with posters created by pupils.

Children’s View

I asked the pupils three questions, here are their answers

  1. The most important thing I learned was to fix the mistakes and always try again and work in a team.
  2. I enjoyed the most painting the building and design the top for Big Ben. I also enjoyed making the clock.
  3. I would make the top I tiny bit different like the design.

I learned that it was the tallest building in the world and it had the fastest speed of elevator. I enjoyed how it was supposed to made out of lots of tubes. I would make the elevator move.

  1. I learned how to fix mistakes when something was not the right size
  2. I really enjoyed painting the building
  3. Ii would change the top a little different in colour

The most important thing I learned was that if you run into a problem you can always find a way to fix it. What I enjoyed the most was working with Faith and Alex because it was really fun and we didn’t blame each other for mistakes. What I would do differently next time is instead of the toppers and bells do a bit of the Palace of Westminster.


1.Durning the making of our Big Ben we learned quite a lot but the most important thing I think I learned wasn’t any of the skills, I think it was that it doesn’t matter who you work with and it doesn’t matter if it goes your way, it’s about the fun and great times you had together that count.

  1. Whilst making Big Ben my favourite part was listening to my partners ideas and using them in different ways or giving them more ideas that improved their first one.
  2. Next time I would maybe think about the design and give other techniques and suggestions a try, I would maybe make a different building and scale it better.
Olivia Rose

I think the most important thing I’ve learned while making our buildings in the makerspace is getting better at scaling and measuring. I really enjoyed making the centre part of the building because there was a lot of measuring and cutting involved. If I could do something differently I would not make a frame for the bottom part.


I learned a lot about making and fixing different thing and solving problems. I did enjoy seeing it being finished and looking good. If I could do anything different I would of made the knex more secure.


The most important thing I have learned was measuring
I enjoyed working with different people that I wouldn’t normally work with
I wouldn’t do anything different


I learned that not every thing you should quit so you keep going and that was a good thing to learn so I learned that I enjoyed making the base because I really enjoyed measuring and checking to see if the length and the width is the correct amount I would make more details and try to make my own clock that moves


I most enjoyed when I had to work out all of the measurements of everything and I enjoyed working out the problems that I had and I learned how to do all of these things and I also learned how to scale thing like these buildings down.


I learned problem solving and I enjoyed making the building and cutting stuff out the thing that I would do different is working with others.

  1. The most important thing that I learned is that if you’ve done something wrong you don’t have to have a temper tantrum you try it again.
  2. I Enjoyed working with my friends and making the net.
  3. Instead of making a 3D bell we made a paper bell.
  1. Working with as a team is fun and useful.
  2. I enjoyed painting
  3. Don’t use frames (unless it’s heavy enough).

Building Buildings

The class are making good progress working on their Famous Building models. Some really creative solutions and problem solving.

When making the centre part of the building, we stumbled across a problem with the folds, I used the makedo tool to make folds where I wanted them to be but in the piece of cardboard I was using had folds where I didn’t want them to be. So I used parts of skewers to hot glue over the folds and that fixed the problem.


In the MakerSpace, Alexia, Chloe and I made a paper bell to go inside our Big Ben, Alexia had designed the bell and once we had made the roof we thought it would be a good idea to use a skewer to attach the bell, once we had tried it didn’t work, the skewer was too obvious and it didn’t work when we put the roof on, to fix the problem we used string instead. We also had the problem of the roof covering the hole for the clock, we decided to vaguely cut a hole in the roof to fit the clock and it worked.


My problem was that the flaps were not strong enough to fix the problem we got sticks and stuck them on the the flaps to fix them.


I had a problem with how the supports for the cardboard strip that does over the bridge would be held. The problem was that I didn’t know how to put a piece that would work good to hold the cardboard. I solved this by using a egg box bit if cardboard.


I needed to put tape in the inside of my top of the Big Ben to make it easier to hot glue.


Cardboard Constructors

Yesterday we had a cardboard construction challenge as a MakerSpace warm up.

The challenge was to make something out of pieces of cardboard. The target was to make the tallest or most artistic creation. The limitation was only pieces of cardboard could be used and the biggest size you could use was 10cm.

No Glue, No Tape: Just Cardboard

We had a lot of fun, some successes, and some problems. All the pupils kept working until the end. The results were varied!

Some of the class aimed for height, some for art, some worked to their own criteria (Alex managed a miniature).

Creative Thinking
Creative Thinking
Problem Solving Badge
Problem Solving
Practical Skills

Christmas Challenge

Primary 5-06-7 had a STEM challenge yesterday. The children had to create a sledge to carry a small assortment of sweets down a ramp. We were looking for the one that could go furthest without losing its cargo and the best looking on.

The Biggies are getting really good with their practical skills in the makerspace. The manages the whole thing In a couple of hours. Some beautiful solutions. Lots of problem solving, creativity and communication on display.

Montagesof 4 photos of pupils working on makerspace task

Steady Hands Stage 2

This week we have been converting our Steady Hand games to incorporate our micro:bits. The micro:bits record the number of touches and tell the player the games is over after 5 touches.

We will used these at our Christmas Fayre when we let people play for a small fee. A sweet for the ones that get through with no mistakes.

A montage of 6 'steady hand' games made by pupils. These consist of a cardboard box wire and a micro:bit. They are decorated.
Screenshot of makedoce editor with code for steady hand game
The code we started with, improvements to be added by pupils.

Steady Hands Stage 1

We have started a new STEM project. Building some Steady Hand games for our Christmas Fayre.

Children working on making a steady hand game with wire & cardboard boxes

Yesterday me and my class were making steady hand games in the makerspace for the Christmas fayre. The games that buzz at you when you touch a shaped wire with a hoop.


We were making a steady hand game it is a game you need to get all the way across if it beeps you are out. We were in the maker space and mr j wanted us to make a cool game. We made it because all the classes need to make thing for the Christmas fair so people would pay 10p to play and if they win the game you will get a sweet.


I also used my skills to make a box which is stable enough which was done using the make-do so that I can connect the metal wire to the box and have it not fall over.
I have also included a light and buzzer but doing that made the buzzer take all the power and the light wouldn’t turn on and the buzzer barely went.


I was with Alexia we had some mistakes like when we were duck taping the crocodile clips but the thing kept falling off it was frustrating but we got to the end eventually we just have to connect the wire.


In the MakerSpace me and my partner learned how to solve problems, one of the main problems we had was when one of the wires was not working, although it was tedious my partner and I got all the wires tested and turns out the one to actually play the game with was broken, when we found that out we had to swap the wire and wire the game up and it was worth it because it worked really well afterwards.

6 steady hand games

The pupils worked really well with their partners, using their experience with circuits and working with cardboard. I a looking forward to seeing them when they are finished.

We have a couple more stages to go and will be making other games for the attendees of our Christmas Fayre.

Elastic Cars

The biggies went back to the maker space for a warm up of our engineering skills today.

Some Biggies reaction:

I learned that you don’t need a motor to make things go

Today I learned how to make changes in my work, I learned how to make rubber bands into a working motor and I learned how to improve the work I had already done!

I learned about how different weight can affect a moving thing and how different types of rubber bands can change how the speed works

I learned that you can do it you have to just believe in yourself

Makerspace Robot Roundup

We have been working hard in our Makerspace on our Robots challenge.

The Challenge is to create a model Robot with elements of, Movement, Electricity & Coding.

The class has done an amazing job with lots of fun and failure. I’ve been especially impressed how the groups worked together and adapted their ideas as the went along.

I gathered quite a lot of quotes from the class and have added some below in their unedited glory.

General Comments

  • His back there is a skewer that you twist so that tightens the rope to make the flaps go up and loosen it to go down
  • It is a micro bit that plays a song by another micro bit sending it messages to start and stop
  • We had to change the song a few thousand times but we got there in the end.
  • We argued about the wheels and some designs but we didn’t argue much. The wheels worked out well and the coding component is working well too.
  • Yes when we were cutting our blocks of wood to hold up a big platform. The blocks where slanted so we had to make new ones and measure it correctly so it was in a straight line.
  • We didn’t think of how the weight of the head was going to affect the motor. This was because the head was too large. Also we painted some of it and changed a lot of the outer design and make the packages more realistic by putting things in them.
  • It’s moving part is the spinning brush on the front, a motor is hooked up to a battery pack and a switch using wires, when the switch is clicked the motor turns a piece of glue tack spins and the brush is attached to it.
  • My robot is a large Aztec sort of style robot called A.D.A.M. A.D.A.M stands for Ancient Dispenser of Aztec Mummies. As the name suggests it dispenses drawings of mummies.
  • It is called Adam it is like a box and it has wheels dispense mummies


  • I enjoyed working with others and learning how different things work.
  • I really enjoyed be able to express my creativity
  • Being partners with the people I was and painting and talking to them.
  • I enjoyed creative work and doing fun things with saws and hot glue guns
  • I enjoyed making a lot of the things we made and I think I work well in most of the groups I was put in.
  • I enjoyed working with the micro bits and coding elements.
  • I enjoyed using different equipment like hot glue guns.

Didn’t enjoy

  • I didn’t enjoy the we had a problem with the electronics
  • I didn’t enjoy all the arguing but then again it was mostly needed because of voting.
  • I didn’t enjoy the problem with the wheels and trying to fix that because it took a while to find a solution.
  • I enjoyed everything about the makerspace, and didn’t dislike anything.


  • I learned that it’s sometimes people need to learn to try help each other more then we should.
  • I learned how to put the movie into keynote and I learned how to do wiring.
  • I learned how to work with others better and how to make different things, I feel like I’m better at arts and crafts as well.
  • I learned that wires were very complicated and annoying and that you may not be friends with your partners but you can get along in some ways.
  • I learned how to use glue guns, what materials are better and not just look better and how to find good solutions to problems but still keep close to the original design.
  • I learned how to use micro bits to control motors.
  • I learned how to use a saw correctly and I learned how to use a hot glue gun.
  • How to have fun and work at the same time while being in my zone.
  • How to make a iMovie video with voice over music and effects and to work in a team to create a machine with electronic components.
  • I learned that you can make anything out of quite a lot of materials and I learned that using iMovie is quite easy.

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