10 recipes to help teachers rediscover their inner inventor

When was the last time you invented something?

Not many hands up? Well, our colleagues at the WAAG society say that this is a real problem. How are we meant to inspire the next generation of makers, when it’s been so long since we’ve been in the learner’s shoes?

For teachers interested in maker education and creativity, the good news is that it’s now easier to take the first step. The WAAG society has distilled some of the best ideas from its existing teacher workshops into a beautiful, online Teacher Maker Camp Cookbook.

This is no ordinary cookbook. Yes, there are pictures and step-by-step instructions, but the ingredients range from toothbrushes to “communication”. Each recipe gives teachers a chance to experience invention, as well as ideas for the classroom, team-building and open days.

Nesta has long supported maker education, from Make Things Do Stuff to our Young Digital Makers report last year. In the latter, we highlighted that there were insufficient opportunities for young people to make. The Teacher Maker Camp Cookbook is addressing just this problem, with recipes ranging from the Yo-Yo challenge to Magic Machines.

But enough talk. It’s a cookbook because they want us to experiment, not read. So rather than read another blog, why not put a mere 18 minutes in your diary tonight to try their version of The Marshmallow Challenge on page 59? All you need to do is get some spaghetti, marshmallow and tape on the way home. It’s as easy as avocado on toast.

My own marshmallow tower attempt this morning reached a meagre 22cm, and didn’t stay standing long... I’m sure you can do better. As Mel and Sue of the Great British Bake-Off would say: “On your marks, get set, make!”

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Michael Mann

Michael Mann

Michael Mann

Senior Programme Manager

Michael was a Senior Programme Manager in the Education team in Nesta's Innovation Lab.

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