Bright Futures – Putting Hammers into the Hands of Children since 2009!

Twice a week members of All Hands Active run a DIY Program at two schools in Westland, MI. For 5 to 10 weeks we get to work with a group of 10 to 15 frighteningly enthusiastic middle school students.

One of the first things that surprises me is how little exposure most of these kids seem to have. A lot of them don’t know ‘lefty loosey righty tighty’. The awesome part is how much energy the kids have, and how willing they are to figure anything out.

So every Tuesday & Thursday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm we provide students with an opportunity to discover what they can do with their own curiosity. So far they’ve learned how to:
. Use a bread board to build a basic circuit (Steve’s PokeyPhone and Induct-Accordian!)
. Solder a Blinky LED Circuit w/Dale Grover
. Build and launch Model Rockets
. DIY Bleach Dying with Bandanas
. Identify LEDs, Resistors, Capacitors and more through WreckLab w/Nima
. Use offset weighted motors and a battery to make a toothbrush move (Bristle Bots)

The current session we have going lasts until the end of November. Just a few of the projects planned: DIY Hula Hoops, Chainmail, and more Induct-Accordians.  We’re learning a lot about what it’s like to work with groups of middle school students – Hammers and WreckLab = Too Much Wrecking, Not Enough Learning – and the kids are learning that they can use their hands to do some pretty amazing things. If you’re interested in helping out this semester or next, shoot me an email:

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About Josh Williams

Woohoo! I like working with technology, hands on projects, and being terribly, terribly curious. I spend a lot of time thinking about education, particularly in the K-8 age group. Hopefully some of that thinking gets turned into action through places like All Hands Active, Bright Futures, Brain Monkeys, etc.
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