Taking Makedo to the Classroom

By June 25, 2017 No Comments

written by

Trent Ray


Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 7.53.06 pm

To find out more about Trent, visit his profile in the Educator of TeachTechPlay Community.


I was recently introduced to a nifty Aussie innovation called MakeDo. Makedo is a cardboard construction system designed for creating, making and play where students are provided with MakeDo Scrus, Makedo Scru-Drivers and MakeDo Safe-Saws. Like many tinker toys, tools and technologies I thought ‘How cool’  and immediately my head started to spin with ideas for application in the classroom.

The Makedo Challenge

As part of the Melbourne Arts Learning Festival in May this year we invited students to join us at Federation Square for the Makedo Challenge. With a focus Arts & Cross-Curricular priorities in the Australian Curriculum and STEM we designed a 1.5 hour challenge for students to work in teams to create an indigenous creature with a 21st Century Twist. These creatures would go on display in the Auditorium at Federation Square in Melbourne during the Arts Learning Festival.

Resources for the Challenge


Integrating the Design & Technologies Curriculum

With students working on a task that requires them to design, create and innovate, it was evident that there was an opportunity to integrated and assess knowledge and skills in the Design & Technologies curriculum. Students would work towards solving a challenge that an Australian Animal might face and work towards designing a prototype/solution for this challenge. For example one group posed the question ‘How might we help a wombat walk backwards’.
We provided the students with a scaffold linked to the Processes and Production Skills allowing them to work systematically through a design process to creating their cardboard creature.


Download a copy of this template here.

student-work              student-work-2

A Focus on Building Collaboration Skills

With a focus on team work I used the evidenced based 21st Century Learning Design Framework to support my  design of the collaborative elements of the task. When designing group task we often focus on group roles and working cooperatively. For learners to develop ‘collaborative’ skills to prepare them for their future we need to look more closely at how we design a high level collaborative task.

To ensure this was a high level collaborative task, designed to help students to become better collaborators. I ensure that students were required to collaborate informally through brainstorming ideas and discussing possible ways to approach the problem, have shared responsibility through each member of the team becoming an expert at Cutting, Folding, Joining or Designing using Makedo. Making substantive decisions together through their design work and working interdependently to construct their create an indigenous creature with a 21st Century Twist.


Learn more about 21CLD here or join our Face to Face 21CLD Workshop.

The Final Product


This article first appeared on the Collective Education Blog




Leave a Reply