Lesson Plan

Making Makers

Resources designed to inspire STEM thinking in students
Laura F.
Assistant Principal
Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School
Oak Lawn, IL
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • be intrinsicly motivated and self-directed, learning through a challenge-based curriculum

  • identify a natural connection toward the facilitation of the 4 C’s

  • make significant content connections across to curriculum

  • center their learning around components of STEM disciplines

Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 What does it mean to "make"?

Allow students time to explore the site, pointing out a few key features. 

  • the categories on the site
  • the design process
  • the videos
Student Instructions

Explore the site.  

  • What category peeks your natural curiosity?  Why? 
  • Describe a challenge you watched.  
  • Define the design process decribed on the site.  How is this process different than a typical school lesson?  

2 Define the process.

Activity: Creating

Show a video showcasing what the design process looks like.  (Example: Dodge Dart design video).  

Debrief the video.  Allows students time to identify the design process with a partner or small group. 

Student Instructions

Refer back to the notes you took from the Curiosity Machine, and maybe some of your own research.   With a partner, define the making process.  


3 Identify what you want to make.

  • Allow students to explore DIY.org.  Point out again how the site is organized.  While they are exploring, help them register for the site.  
  • Introduce the idea of the badge system.  Discuss where earned badges will be displayed.  
  • Students should have a good idea what track they would like to explore and what badge they would like to achieve by the end of the lesson. 
Student Instructions
  • Explore!  I will be around to each team to help register for the site. 
  • What is a badge?  Which one would you like to earn?
  • Where can we display the badges you earn?  

4 The Pitch

Activity: Presenting
  • Students must decide on a badge to attain at this point, as well as develop a Google Doc material list.  
    • What will they need in terms of supplies to complete their badge? 
  • Students should create a short, 2 minute pitch to the teacher that defines their goal, which lessons they will complete to get a badge, and what materials they need along the way.  
    • Students must also work within a pre-defined budget. 
Student Instructions
  • Time to choose!  
    • Which badge are you trying to attain? 
    • What materials do you need to get started? 
    • What is your budget? 
  • Develop a 2 minute pitch to your teacher.  Define all of the above questions. 

5 The Challenge

After a few lessons dedicated to designing and redesigning, or perhaps after students have earned that first badge, or when students are in need of an additional challenge, they can check out Instructables. This site features several ongoing maker challenges designed for various age groups. 

Student Instructions

Ready to compete?  

  • Check out Instructables.com.  
  • Pick a challenge, any challenge. 
  • Showcase your work to the class, and submit your work online. (Check with your teacher prior to submiting.)