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Family Resources

As a way to help you foster a culture of curiosity and making at home, we've curated a list of helpful resources. The goal of maker-centered learning is to help young people feel empowered to build and shape their worlds. This can happen through a variety of ways. Our friends and colleagues at Agency by Design, a research project at Project Zero- Harvard Graduate School of Education, have developed a framework for maker-centered learning. Their research has shown that developing the sense of maker empowerment is strongly supported by having a sensitivity to design. This sensitivity to design develops when learners have opportunities to: look closely, explore complexity, and find opportunity. Below is a breakdown from Agency by Design of these three maker capacities:

magnifying glass

Looking carefully at objects and systems in order to notice their intricacies, nuances, and details. By looking closely, one may begin to see the complexities inherent in objects and systems.

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Building on close observations and explorations of complexity to see the potential for building, tinkering, re/designing, or hacking objects and systems.

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Investigating the interactions between the various parts and people associated with objects and systems, including the range of values, motivations, and priorities held by the individuals who engage with particular objects and systems.

At Home Family Making

Family Friendly Maker Ideas

This collection of maker ideas from the Exploratorium are safe and easy to do with things around the house. They will amaze parents, grandparents and children alike!

sketch of rube goldberg machine
Build a family Rube Goldberg Machine.

A Rube Goldberg machine is a contraption that uses a chain reaction to carry out a simple task. It performs a very basic job in a complicated way.

  • Watch this OK GO video below to get inspired. Then go on a design hunt to find objects in your home to use for your machine.

  • Check out this article from the TinkerLab for some great tips.

  • Explore Wonderpolis to learn more about the history of Rube Goldberg and his famous contraptions.


100 Activities to do at home during school closures

This collection of hands-on building activities encourage kids to create and make together

Maker-Centered Learning and Learning Through Play Research Resources

  • In this leaflet published by The Lego Foundation, you can learn more about their research on the benefits of learning through play.

  • Explore the Agency by Design website to learn more about the multiyear research initiative at Harvard’s Project Zero investigating maker-centered learning experiences.

The list of resources below include at home family making experiences that help to develop maker empowerment and collaborative play. We will continue to add more resources in the days to come. In addition, the weekly creativity challenges and maker routines are great ways you and your children can learn together and foster the development of maker empowerment.

We encourage you to use the #RCSMAKERS to showcase the innovation and creativity happening in our community.