Get Kids Making with DIY
Badges, virtual or real, are popular with the middle school set. The idea of earning something is highly motivating (even for adults!) The layout and navigation of the site is user-friendly. The video content is short and engaging, even for younger students. One note of criticism: the member area needs some tweaking, especially if you are a teacher using it in a classroom. The price tag ($9 per user) is a bit steep for today's already strained budgets. However, that price point does come with some extra features that could be helpful when trying to keep a classroom of projects organized and trackable.
How I Use It
This year I knew our school needed to start a Maker's Room. However, the idea can be daunting. What "stuff" do I buy? What will kids want to make? How will I go about teaching or facilitating student understanding on the vast variety of projects they could complete? Enter DIY.org. This site provides structure to an otherwise unstructured process. Furthermore, it showcases real projects completed by real kids. In browsing through the extensive catalog of skills, my students had no problem identifying a badge and a set of projects they wanted to complete. The site itself promotes key ideas that we are trying to infuse back into classrooms, namely scientific inquiry and passion-driven learning.