How I Organize Maker and STEAM Ideas from Twitter

During my Make Yourself Into a Maker PD Course, Educators Have Renewed My Faith In Education, I was asked how I organize all the tweets that have amazing ideas. I was discussing how Twitter is amazing at allowing us to beg, borrow, steal, and learn from so many amazing people who share their work.

I created a short little tutorial explaining how I use IFTTT + TweetDeck + Google Sheets = Maker Success

Enjoy and please share how you organize your ideas.

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Educators Have Renewed My Faith In Education

About a month ago I launched my first ever two day Make Yourself Into A Maker PD. I was nervous and scared as anyone is when you are in charge to lead the way to nudge people to make change for the better.

And at the end of those two days I was on cloud 9.

You can read about it here: Educators Can Make Engaging Learning If You Just Let Them! 

This past week I was lucky enough to run another session. And again I was nervous, but in a different way.

What if I don’t bring the same energy?

What if these educators are not as engaged as the first group?

What happens if this or that and all things in between?

I always find it challenging mentally when you repeat a learning opportunity that is on a scale like this workshop that covers two days, pulls educators from their learning spaces, and the pressure to make sure it delivers.

And all I can say after a few days after the workshop is WOW!

These educators blew my mind. They took the learning to a whole new level. I could not have been more impressed than what I witnessed during these two days.

Minor adjustments were made between the workshops to help make things flow better. We had an open PO to allow them to purchase what they needed. We played better music in the work zone. We provided more think time. We adjusted time slots to meet their needs. We had an amazing Show and Tell at the end.

What we kept was providing them time to tap into their ideas and enter the state of flow. We kept the culture and support to help them try new things. We kept the mindset that we can do it!

You can learn all about the workshop on the site. The major goal of the two days was to empower the educators to believe that they can make whatever they want. Through that we infused projects that could impact their classrooms and learning spaces. I believe that if we can empower the educators, then they will go back and empower their students.

Educators must feel supported. They must feel safe to try something new. They must know they are not alone in the work.

The workshop is designed to allow them to get to know one another. They must believe and feel that it is safe to try something new. It was amazing watching them help each other, share ideas, gather feedback, and basically become a support network for one another.

I was going to post all the projects in this post, but have decided to post them as separate posts each day because I believe they need to be highlighted accordingly.

I am excited about education again. After witnessing and experiencing some things recently in education that had me feel crummy about the state of education, these educators in this workshop reminded me that if we simply support them and allow them to do what they know is right all problems in education would be solved. I honestly believe that to my core. It is when we stifle their intelligence and ideas, crush them with negative culture, and drown them in practices that don’t work that the flame starts to burn out. Give educators oxygen and space and let them ignite their flame of passion.

All I can say is THANK YOU!

You know who you are!

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#maker9 Creative Challenge 1: 30 Circles


Your Challenge

Your task is to use the provided template of 30 circles and fill them all in with creative designs. Use any medium you wish – Sharpie, pencil, pen, crayons, etc.

Have fun and go crazy!

30 Circles Template

Share Your Work

Share you work in our Google Photo album for this project

Share using hashtag #maker9

Facebook Group –

Make Yourself Into a Maker Website

Taking It Further

  1. How can you use this activity in your learning space?
  2. If you use with students, then please post how it worked and some examples




***This idea was adapted from an online course by Creative Live 28 to Make***

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Creating Cookie Monsters: A 3D Print STEM Project for All

One of the ideas or questions that comes up time and time again in my job is that teachers want help moving the amazing ideas of making into their classroom. This requires some help and guidance. How do we help them keep the maker culture alive while also aligning to the mandates of teaching.

A few weeks back I posted a tutorial on making a cookie cutter. I decided to take that concept and scale it into a project.

Full disclosure, I kept some things general on purpose. My goal is that any teacher can take the project based learning template and edit the contents to be grade/class specific. What I hoped to do was build the framework so teachers can see how this work could fit within the classroom walls.

All I ask is that if you do use the work to please share with me so I can share with other educators who are seeking help. Together we can help one another and continue to work to create engaging content and powerful learning experiences for students.


The goal of this project is to help students WANT to create in CAD. We use Tinkercad with students, but this project could be used with any software. I have decided to go the cookie cutter route. I know this sounds simple, but if you have ever tried to make a cookie cutter it is much more challenging than you think. Students have to work through negative space designing for the cookie. Then comes the creation of all pieces being together.

We take them through this basic cookie cutter design process first of the star to help them learn how to make. The real challenge then becomes designing and printing their very own afterwards.

We provide a foundation and then set them free.

The final step is to infuse STEAM yet again by teaching them the science of cooking by actually making cookies and then the art aspect of decorating with real cake designers.

This project is fun, engaging, and helps to serve a need for students while also keeping it real world for them.

I have instructions posted on Instructables to make the star if you need help.

I have YouTube Tutorial as well

Remember, the star is not the goal. The goal is for you to create your very own cookie cutter. Please share your designs with me as I love to see what people create!

Here is the complete project based learning template and lesson plan aligned with standards, differentiation for grade levels, and more. Let me know if you have questions. –> Link

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Educators Are The Best People In The World

I know my opinions don’t carry much weight, but I want all educators to know that I think you are some of the best people the world has to offer.

I have felt so blessed to work with so many amazing educators in my career.

You have done the work.

You have put in the time.

You have had those tough conversations with yourself and your team and others.

You have put in endless hours on top of endless hours because you care about students. You care about your colleagues. You care about your job.

You are dedicated. Sacrificing weekends, nights, time from family, friends, and other events because things simply need to get done because it is the right thing to do.

You put in the time and work not to win awards and recognition(however, these are nice reminders when they do happen), but because you want what is best for students and your school.

You care. You work hard. You work tirelessly. You exhaust your emotions and energy and have to go home and find ways to muster an extra dose of these things because your family needs you also.

You have grinded through a lot of work when perhaps there were more pressing matters at hand because you know the long term impact the work can have for students.

You meet all expectations and deadlines and duties while still trying to find ways to be the educator you want to be.

As a parent I am so grateful for all the educators that work so hard to provide my kids an atmosphere of learning that allows them to grow and learn in a positive environment.

As an educator I don’t know where you can find a more dedicated group of people anywhere else(and I know many other professions have great sacrifices and by no means am I downplaying any other occupation).

As a colleague to so many amazing educators, I am impressed by how you continue to work through obstacles and issues time and time again to do great work.

As a friend I thank you.

I know I am a small voice, but the work that so many educators do all over the world does not go unnoticed. I appreciate you. I appreciate your work ethic. I appreciate what you do for students.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for being an educator.

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