Generating Ideas on Maker Day

Publisher’s Notes (me):  

  • I am keeping the Mandarin translation included in this post in case there are any Chinese followers.  Plus, it reminds everyone that we are currently living and working in China!
  • For you We Chat users this story was orignally published on We Chat.  Check out this link to see the original posting.

枫叶高中 | 我们的创客日 Our Maker Day


This past Friday, the BC High School program at Maple Leaf International Academy – Shenzhen had our first Maker Day as a part of our Targeted Learning theme for this month. Our theme is Generating Ideas from the Creative Thinking core competency in BC curriculum and a Maker day is simply a day when students are presented with a problem and using simple materials have to build or “make” a solution to the problem. Students were challenged with generating creative ideas to solve each problem and it was fascinating to see how many new ideas they came up with to solve these problems.

Leaning Tower1


First, in “Leaning Tower”students had to build the tallest free-standing tower using toothpicks and plasticine. To pass the judging the tower had to stand on its’ own for 30 seconds. The winners of this activity were the group were Tiffany, Erru, Sherlock and Kyle who build a “Monopole Self Supporting” tower which clearly outdistanced the other entries.

第二项活动是“弹珠滚落”,学生必须用纸板和卡纸制作一系列斜坡,让弹珠在这些斜坡上滚动 15秒然后掉进纸杯中。获奖作品由高骏驰,慈佳殷,谢晨泽和特邀嘉宾Kiyla制作,他们的弹珠滚动时间是16秒(有2次帮助)并且中途没有从斜坡上滑落。

The second activity was the“Marble Drop”where students had to construct series of cardboard and paper ramps which would drop a marble into a paper cup in exactly 15 seconds. The winning entry was by the group featuring Kyle, Yannie, Steven and special guest Kiyla who came in at 16 seconds (with 2 helps) and without the marble dropping out of the ramp.

Marble Drop 1


The final activity called Pinnochio was won by a group featuring Ann, Kryon, Jack, and Jenny with a very creatively designed nose made of straws stretching 510 cm!


In all of these activities, students were encouraged to use their own creative ideas to solve the problems, but of equal importance was helping others to make their ideas better. When working in groups, students (as well as many adults) aren’t always able to encourage others to make their ideas better. They usually either reject them completely, or agree without adding ideas to make the better. Being able to generate your own ideas and then help others make their ideas better is an important skill for life and an important part of the creative thinking competency in the BC curriculum.

pinnochio 4


It was also great to see students having fun working together demonstrating their abilities with their hands and producing a physical product to show how smart they are.

A special thanks to Darren Spyksma from the Society of Christian Schools of BC for providing the ideas for providing these Maker Activities during his presentation to Maple Leaf administrators in April 2018.


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