The session breakdown went like this:
Did this affect their ability to focus in the afternoon? Reflecting back at the two sessions, it seems like the girls did make more projects after lunch. Next summer I am going to have to keep some stats.
3: Boys Like Electronics, Girls Like the Laser and They Both Like Plastic and Vinyl.
Over the 8 weeks, it seemed like there were a couple of favorites for each group. When given "Free Making Time" the boys tended to be drawn to Scratch and littleBits. The girls kept the laser cutter running as they made boxes, signs, presents and various other things made out of wood.
The 3D printers and the vinyl cutter were busy all day with both groups. The girls liked 3D printing name tags and various trinkets. The boys got into designing and printing castles...some were very complex. Both groups also liked making "stickers" on the vinyl cutter.
So what does this mean? Honestly, I don't have a clue. I know that some of the boys had to be refocused from time to time because they would be "playing" Scratch games rather than making games...but then so did a couple of girls. A few of the girls were not risk-takers...making the same type of thing over and over (boxes and signs were popular)...and yes, so were some of the guys. Was one group better than the other? Will more girls go into S.T.E.M. jobs or will more boys? Of the 'Iolani kids that took this class, how many will be coming to the Lab during recess time? How many students will think about "making" when it comes to doing a project for their core classes? I don't know the answers.
This I do know: All 38 students were makers during their time in the Lab. They all seemed to have fun and walked away from the class with the knowledge of how to use the equipment in the Lab. Each student gravitated to the activities that were interesting to them and spent most of their "free time" creating at that station. Lastly, both girls and boys were exposed to the possibilities of S.T.E.M. options in the Lab.
Only time will tell what will happen next.