There is a true analogy about the maker movement within my topic heading, and the premise I realized while devising a Maker activity for the first MSU Library Maker Faire. The purpose of having a Maker Faire was to showcase the process of “making”. Check out this video, which explains a bit more about what a Maker Faire is. I believe the maker movement is essentially all about creating sparkle (or as I call it…joy) and is creating excitement in individuals across the world.
My partner and I, Jeanette Hardy, set out to devise a maker activity that would allow participates to create, while also express who they were. With this in mind, we decided to showcase individual’s culture by having them create International Flair badges.
Sparkle Map Supplies needed:
- circuit stickers
- large map with major cities identified
- LED lights
- conductive thread
- Red and black sharpie (can help participants mark the thread to keep track of positive and negative ends)
- several CR2032 Lithium 3VoltBatteries
- several large binder clips
- reference books of countries (Atlas, regions or city guide)
- magazines that represent a variety of countries
Pro Tip: Use double sided tape if you are doing this activity with many people and attach a piece of it to the map under the battery this will hold the negative thread in place, repeat the same process to the top side of the flap and then fold down.
Instructions for Sparkle Map maker:
- On a large world map, participants will add a circuit sticker to the place their family originates.
- Cut two pieces of thread so that they reach from your sticker to the closest corner of the map
- Stick one end of the thread under the positive end of the circuit sticker, mark the trailing end of thread with a red sharpie
- Stick the second thread under the negative end of the circuit sticker, mark the trailing end of thread with a black sharpie
- Now run both pieces of thread to the closest corner of the map
- Place a battery below each corner of the map so that you can fold the corner of the map over the battery
- Place the negative (black) end of the thread under the negative side of the battery
- Place the positive (red) end of thread on top of the positive side of the battery
- Fold the corner of the map over the edge of the paper so the corner covers the battery and use a binder clip
- After participants create their sparkle on the map where their family is from, have them use reference books to research their culture.
International Flair take-a-way:
After identifying where there family is from on a map participants will also make an LED badge that represents their country by using craft supplies.
All the materials below can be found at your local craft or teacher store:
- felt squares
- safety pins
- tweezers (heavy duty)
- colored construction paper
- pipe cleaners
- hot glue gun
- glue sticks
- fabric glue
Pro Tip: the more supplies you have on hand, the more creative people can be in there making. Think re-purposing recycled materials.
Instructions for International Flair:
1. You will need: one LED light, one piece of felt, one battery, one battery holder, one paper square, and one safety pin.
2. Pick up your felt square and your LED light. Poke the ends of the LED light through the middle of the felt square.
3. Place the battery in the battery case with the positive side facing up (this will go behind your felt where the ends of the LED are).
4. Push each end of the LED light through an end of the battery case, making sure the shorter LED prong goes through the hole on the negative side of the battery case, and the longer LED prong goes through the hole on the positive side of the battery case (you should see the LED light up now).
5. With tweezers, bend (curl) each end of the LED light around the ends of the battery case to tighten the electrical connection between the battery case and the LED light.
6. Decorate your paper square to represent the country or area you are from with the supplied materials. So that the decorated paper square goes around the light, punch a hole in the center of the decorated paper square (or use scissors). Adhere the decorated paper square to the felt with glue.
7. With a safety pin, pin your badge on your cloths for instant flair!
Co-Creator Jeanette Hardy can be found on Twitter @j_barrelz
Becker,L. Retrieved July 2, 2014, from
MSU MAET. Retrieved July 5, 2014, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/125607422@N04/