One of my former professors is teaching a class called The History of Knowledge and Belief and feel that the Makerspace is a really good opportunity for her students. Here is her email:
I’d like to set up a visit for the HIST 3520 class.
I’d want to set up the visit in the context of a short project: for example (ONE possible option)– the students might be instructed to locate all the tools and machines that they would use to create a “brazen head”, the likes of which Roger Bacon (13th century) was said to have designed, and perhaps even constructed. They’d have to locate all tools and machines, AND describe how each would be used/ operated, with the specific result. I’d have them parallel their design (I might have them actually map out a design/draw?) with a point by point mind-map, illustrating thought process points, AND assumptions contained within/ situated ‘behind’ each point. In this project, I’d imagine that the students would benefit from a thorough tour of the Makerspace facility, with explanations of/descriptions of each machine/tool/gadget. One challenge I can see here, though, is that Makerspace obviously has a LOT of tools/machines, and so it might be better to select some to showcase, but not all. Your thoughts?
This project might not be sufficiently historical though…… I’m not sure. I’ll be brainstorming on this. In a HIST 3520 class from a couple years ago, I had students using prefabricated kits (with set outcomes as part of the package – ie. A small catapult, for example) to invent machines, and build them, to solve specific medieval problems. I’d removed all pictures, all instructions, that had come in the box (these were gift kits, purchased around Christmas time, from Winners), and so the students had no idea what the various kit construction materials were initially designed for! It was an exciting project. The students were instructed in that class that they could use ONLY the ideas/theories/ concepts/ available knowledge existing in the early medieval period (around the 13th century). It would be fantastic to have the students actually construct something at Makerspace, but I really think this won’t be possible given the amount of time they would have, and demands on machines/tools. I’m inclined more and more to go with the project I described at the top in this email.
What do you think?"
Any suggestions anyone has would be greatly appreciated.