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    Welcome to the Steindorf Maker Lab!
    The Maker Lab is a creative space staffed by Cambrian teacher Rick Schertle -schertler@cambriansd.com.   The over 3000 square foot double-wide lab classroom is an area for K-8 students to create, learn, build, share and play. 


     Core units include but are not limited to electronics, robotics, mechanics, construction, flight, programming, woodworking and fabrication.  See Rick's 2017 Back to School Night Presentation here.   For the 2018-2019 school year, Rick teaches two 6th grade, two 7th grade and three 8th grade classes two times a week as well as facilitates K-5 STEAM integration.  See Rick's Getting Started with Maker Spaces presentation here from the CA STEAM Symposium.  More of my articles in Make: Magazine... 
    We're always looking for donations for both reusable and consumable materials for the Maker Lab.  Click here for a list updated  on 7/24/17.
    The K-8 program relolves around the Engineering Design Process of Ask - Imagine - Plan - Create - Improve from Engineering is Elementary.  See a great summary at: Engineering Design Process.


    Individual Class Content Pages - Click links to left

    Program for Middle School

    Middle Schoolers are scheduled into the Maker Lab one day a week for 80 minutes (block schedule) and one day a week for 45 minutes.  Along with supporting the PBL's going in in the middle school, we rotate through the following units:
    • Paper Construction - Marble Paper Roller Coasters - Working in teams of two, students learn basic building principles and construct beams, columns and supports out of paper to support a working marble roller coaster.  Roller coaster features include track, tight and wide curves, funnels, loops and switches.  Completed roller coasters are over four feet tall.
    • Circuits and Micro-controller programming (SparkFun SIK Kits) - With these kits, students learn about electronic components like LED's, resistors, diodes and potentiometers while breadboarding circuits connected to an Arduino.  They program the circuits using software on their laptops.
    • Robotics (mBot Platform) - Students build robotic cars and learn to program them using SCRATCH.  Later, they pull the Arduino compatible controller out of he car and use it on its own along with a variety of sensors to build animatronic puppets that respond to the world around them.  I'm writing a book on this robotic platform so stay tuned!
    • Circuits and Electronics (Tinker Kits and Makey Makey Boards) - In this unit, students work with analog Tinker Kits to build their own switches and analog circuits.  They'll learn the principles of electricity, volts, watts and ohms.  Later, they learn how to bridge the physical and digital world using the Makey Makey board.
    Mini Units

    We'll duck in and out of the rotation above to do some of the following: 

    • Woodworking

    • TinkerCad and 3D Printing

    • 3D paper modeling

    • Mechanics (automata)

    • Laser Cutter and other Tool Competency

    Future Advanced Units 

    • Internet of Things - Using Particle Chip 
    • Little Robotic Arm - DIY 3D printed robotic arm
    • Quadcopters and UAV's
    • Electric Go-carts

    K-5 in the Maker Lab

    Currently, K-5 teachers sign up for building sessions in the Maker Lab.  Building sessions often support the many amazing PBL's going on throughout the school.  In the future, we hope to have all K-5 classes scheduled in the Maker Lab regularly on a weekly basis.  If classes don't have any current PBL projects, they'll rotate through different "maker stations" like the marble contraption machine, Dash and Dot robots, Osmos learning system, coding, Legos, etc.
    Highlights from 2016-2017 School Year
    •  We've got four teams participating in the Tech Museum's Tech Challenge 2017!  We're very excited and thankful for all the parent volunteers to help make this happen.  
    • Events to Highlight so far from our Inaugural Year. 
      • Wednesday Innovation Time 
      • Maker Lab Show and Tell 
      • 7th Grade Medieval PBL 
      • 6th Grade Egyptian/Hebrews Museum PBL Exhibition 
      • 6th Grade Ancient Civilizations 18 hole golf course
      • K-5 PBL Support
     Class Resources
    Cardboard Automata 
     Other Resources
    Tool Details
    PBL Highlights 
    Wednesday Innovation Time in the Maker Lab

    Parent/Community Involvement 

    How Steindorf Parents can be Involved in the Maker Lab  (email Rick if you're interested in any of the following)

    • We're always looking for parents to help with our Wednesday Innovation Time from 12:40 - 2 pm every Wednesday.  Parents can share their expertise on a topic with a group of Steindorf students.   We've had some awesome parent volunteers so far!
    Item Donations

    We're looking for donations of raw materials and tools.  Donations can be dropped off in the box in the Steindorf lobby or brought to the Maker Lab (room 18).  When we get enough of certain items, we'll update the list.  If you want a tax receipt for donations, just send me an email at the address above.   We've already had a lot of items donated from our generous parent community.  As I teach, I realize different things we need.  Thanks so much!


    Articles and Research on Making


    Construction Updates

     Here is a 360 degree view of the Maker Lab taken on May 5, 2016.