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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureTara Bordeaux

Maker Mania 2020

Updated: May 12, 2020

Every year our amazing librarian, Mrs. Hersh, puts on a phenomenal Maker Mania event for our entire community. This January, the Austin ISD teachers who are a part of the Apple Coding Initiative joined in to help make it even bigger. Our elementary teacher Ms. Denison and our middle school teacher Mr. Long, brought Spheros and coding apps and set up a cool race course for students to program. Mr. Trimino and his programming students showed off their coding skills, and Ms. Willis and her business students helped create the flyer for the event and collaborated with Ms. Colosanti and the Green Teens on a Monarch Heroes booth. My students setup a small photo booth to show folks how to take photographs with their iPhones.

As the event approached, I was fighting one of the worst colds I have ever experienced. (Some people are still convinced it was Covid-19). When I asked my students what they thought we should do for the event, they immediately said, "a photo booth!"

My first reaction was that we didn't have everything we needed to make it happen. My second thought was, will I even be stand up long enough to do this? My students told me not to worry, that they could do it by themselves if I just let them. They seemed determined, so who was I to argue?

There was not much space in the library due to all of the different vendors and tables setup, so we found a nice little niche towards the front slightly away from everyone. We decided since the space was minimal, we could only bring a portable backdrop, a ring light, one tripod, some gels, a small box of props, and a couple of iPads. My students thought it would be best if we let people use their own devices, and then we could take photos of people who didn't have a device and send it to them. It was a hit. Even the dogs loved it!

One of the Divine Canines posing for a shot

People of all ages took photos with the props and my students just had a blast taking photographs and showing the younger kids (and interested adults) how to use the gels to get different colors into the photographs.

I was so proud of my students. They took the lead and made it happen. (They even made me go and drink some cold water when I started feeling sicker).

These are some of the fun shots they took at the event.

After the Maker Mania concluded, I asked my students to take some of the photographs they shot and edit them in Photoshop so they could see the difference. See for yourself. The before (left) and after (right) photos show just how talented my students are!

Imagine what my students can do with the right equipment!

Part of my Innovation Plan Proposal is to get mobile photography kits into my students hands. Those kits will have an iPad or iPhone, tripod, mini light kit with gels, portable backdrops, and other photography accessories. Students will be able to do mini-portrait sessions like this at home for their families. It will be a game changer for my students and their families.

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