Strictly Briks recently announced its first makerspace program designed to expand creative play and inspire STEM skills in a new generation of young engineers, designers, architects, and more. We pledged grants of up to $2,000.00 of our products to museums with makerspace programs and exhibits that illustrated a proactive approach towards educating and encouraging creativity in young children.
We experienced overwhelming responses from museums all over the country that wanted to take part in the makerspace program.
One of the museums to respond and make great use of our products was the Knock Knock Children's Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In February of this year, Knock Knock used Strictly Briks' products in their themed Knock Knock Maker Shop activities with great success, using open-ended play building activities with assigned building roles to advocate teamwork and emphasize collaboration.
In March, the theme of the month was robotics. "We have used Strictly Briks' products to support many of our activities," says Hillary Perret, Knock Knock's Learning Innovations Instructor. "The building brick sets can be used with many of the robotics products we use."
"I just put out a new activity that focused on Strictly Briks' products," says Hillary. "They're using base-plates and the Classic Briks Building Set to write their name in binary code. Single pegs are 0’s and double pegs are 1’s. I piloted this with my homeschooling class and it worked really well."
"Little Hands Exploration": Encouraging Young Creativity
Similar to how Knock Knock hosts a monthly makerspace activity that caters to children with disabilities, Knock Knock hosted a specialized program in March geared towards preschoolers in which kids used many of our signature building sets to personalize their creations and create their own characters.
"Our maker shop has an age limit of four," says Hillary. "We always put a preschool activity close by for our patrons who have younger siblings. They used Big Briks as well as the Cube and Pyramid base-plates to make a robot."
"On a quiet day, I wandered by and saw this “theater” [that the kids had made]. It reminded me of a stop-motion animation set. I snapped a picture so I could put the idea away for future reference. I love when I get ideas from the kids."
Building Activities Construct Core Skills in Toddlers
The benefits of hosting monthly building activities for toddlers through a makerspace program are many. Some of the obvious ones include enhanced problem-solving skills that encourage the kids to ask questions and make important decisions for the betterment of the team, encouraging co-operation that teaches kids the importance of "taking turns," and even boosts in self-esteem from the ability to make their own choices. Among others are lessons in leadership, communication, and creative thinking.
"The simplicity of these products increases possibilities," says Hillary. "The [Strictly Briks] grant helped me to open up imaginations."