Just like the American TV show ‘’ teams are given a box of items and have 20 minutes to create something. Only instead of being in a kitchen, Middle School students were in the makerspace in the upper school library, tasked with making a Native American artifact to compete for first place.
As part of Native American studies, social studies teacher Mr. Tim Livingston wanted to do something creative with the students. He designed this program as a unique way to get the students interested in Native Americans, use the maker space in the library and to foster teamwork. Because the students had studied 5 different geographical areas of Native Americans, they were divided into 5 teams at different tables. At each table was a mystery box full of materials. After randomly being assigned a different geographical area, the teams were tasked to create an artifact from that area using all of the materials in the box.
Some team members did the research, others focused on the creation of the object and one student was designated as ‘the hunter gatherer’ with an armband allowing them to go into the ‘supply’ room for other materials. The catch, the hunter could only bring one material back at a time. Guest judges were invited to observe the process of the teams working together and they had a rubric for judging at the end. Ms. Midge Livingston watched the clock and made sure that the rules of competition were not broken.
After preliminary contests over 2 days, five teams made it to the finals. They assembled with their classmates in front of guest judges: Head of School Mr. Greg MacGilpin, Head of Curriculum Ms. Hanadi Dayyeh and Middle School Principal Mr. Phil Wendel for the finale. The clock was set for 20 minutes and Tim yelled go! When the time was up, the presentations began. Teams were judged on their explanation of the artifact chosen, the traditional materials used in making the artifact, the importance of the artifact in society, how the team used the materials in the box and how well they worked together. Although all of the teams did a great job, it was the details in the explanation of the artifact and the use of materials that won the team that created the ‘moccasin’ the title of First Place.