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The maker spirit at City Day

Digital clocks. Carbon dioxide-powered cars. Chairs that will support a junior kindergartner.

Chicago City Day School students have been busy this spring building these and other items in their tech & design class (or simply "tech," as the class is known). Tech is where students use their minds and their hands to imagine, design, create, and build. Based in the school's Shorey Shop, tech class is a hub of interdisciplinary learning, as students use math, science, reading, and art skills in most projects.

The range of tech class-projects — all of them designed to be age-appropriate — that students complete is unique for an elementary school. Here is a small sampling of the projects that our students completed this spring:

  • Chair Challenge — Our sixth-graders had to build a chair entirely out of paper tubes, ensuring that it was strong enough to support the weight of a junior kindergarten students.
  • Heirloom Cars — Our third-graders designed, built, sanded, and painted their own wood cars. 
  • Dream Houses — Grade 8 created floor plans for their "dream houses" and then built models of them. 
  • CO2 Cars — The seventh-graders built model cars that could be propelled forward with small carbon dioxide canisters.
  • Digital Clocks — Fourth-grade students designed and constructed their own working digital clocks.
  • RGB Lamps —Fifth-graders built lamps (with the help of our 3-D printers) the work with LED bulbs.

These and the other projects from this spring develop fine-motor skills and help students become creative problem-solvers. They also instill the "maker spirit" in students, sparking curiosity about the world and a desire to innovate. 

See photos from the spring's projects below. 


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