Lighthouse Mini Maker Faire


In April, the Tinkering Club after school program participated in the Lighthouse's Mini Maker Faire. Students in our program were the main facilitators of the activity, supporting the students at Lighthouse in making various forms of tin art (if you missed our blog post on tin art, check it out here ).



Before the event, Lianna asked for students to brainstorm tips for getting someone started with tin art. Students built on each other’s ideas as they reflected back on their own experiences as learners making tin art for the first time. Lianna transcribed their responses on the classroom whiteboard and I categorized and wrote up their responses into small “cheat sheets” for student reference on the day of the event. Their responses focused on supporting safe tool use as well as being thoughtful about their tin designs, which I thought were totally spot on for this activity.

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Our Tinkering Club students fully embodied the role of facilitators at the Lighthouse Maker Faire. It was great to see how much they’ve grown over the past semesters and their increased comfort with tinkering. Lianna and I made note of a few students in particular and they ways in which they facilitated that day.


Marla worked with two students who were running a booth from Grass Valley. They wanted to make the paper circuit version of the luminaria, and Marla instructed them on the basics of how to work with tin. When they were working on the paper circuit portion of the project, one of the girls had trouble getting her circuit to work. Marla jumped in and took lead on problem solving the circuit. She identified that when she pressed on the copper tape that rested on top of the coin cell battery, the light would illuminate and only then. She tested and made small changes until she figured out what needed to be changed.




Marceline stepped into a mentor role and pushed her skills during the event. She would notice as people were arriving to the table and acted as a greeter. She proactively introduced what was going on and made additional inspiring examples for the table without distracting from the facilitation time. Others excitedly showed off her work and wanted to have their photos taken with them (see her tree example above).

Karla was really thoughtful in how she got people started with the activities. She made an example with a large “K” to show that making your initials is an easy way to get started, and used that prompt to help younger kids who weren’t sure what to do.



Usually fairly reserved in Tinkering Club, Rose found a nice balance between helping others and working on her own projects. She offered options and suggestions to participants, like, “You could try this or that.”

Aurelia was an active facilitator for tin art. She made some last-minute examples in the morning, then stayed to help facilitate through the entire event (some students stayed only for morning/afternoon shifts). She was also very aware of the environment and helped with both keeping the table tidy and restocking materials when they ran low.


Overall, the day felt like a success! We had about two hundred Lighthouse students visit our table, and our Tinkering Club students had the experience being facilitators. Some of our students expressed how tired they felt at the end of the day - who knew tinkering could be such hard work!

Overdeck Family Foundation

This collaboration is funded by the Overdeck Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

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