Last week was Pacific Heights second annual Maker Faire. We expanded this year to a day two day event to give students a full day to build their creations (some students spent days). I spent a lot of time in classes over the build day talking to students. They were so excited to share their ideas, process, challenges and successes. Our parent community came out to volunteer their time and skills with students to help them realize their vision. There were numerous paper cuts, glue gun burns and more than a few sore backs by the time all was said and done, but the giant smiles on our students faces show how worthwhile the process was! Everything from talking robots, paintings, glitter and marshmallow launchers, cardboard creations, arcade games, inventions, working cars and hot air balloons were created. Take a look at some of our images from “build” day!
When you walked in the school on Maker Faire “share” day you could feel the energy and excitement. Students set up their projects throughout the gym and multi-purpose room. Our morning was spent giving students the opportunity to both share their work and to view the projects of others. Our afternoon brought in our parent community. What a wonderful turn-out! Thank you parents and family! Check out some images from the day.
Over the day, I had the opportunity to share in many student’s projects. One moment that stood out for me was talking to a student whose project had “failed” in his mind. I asked him if he had fun during the process? I asked if he had learned anything from the experience? The answer to both questions was yes, so I assured him that his project was not a failure but rather a great learning experience. I read something recently that said, “If you FAIL, never give up, because F.A.I.L means, “First Attempt In Learning.” No truer words in my mind.
It’s important for children to experience failure. It’s what gives them the drive, tenacity and initiative to be successful. Early educational reformer John Dewey said it best: “Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” Failure is an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their strengths as well as their areas of improvement — all for the purpose of getting better. When reframed as a good, constructive, and essential part of learning, failure is a master teacher.
So congratulations to all our students! Their project success (even through failure) demonstrated their future ability to persevere through the toughest of life’s challenges.