Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. The practice, taken from older industries, is now frequently used on computer hardware and software.
Tonight MakerClub had fun taking stuff apart. The kids worked with a partner or individually to take apart a old appliance or toy from home. Some of the students were able to begin creating something new out of the pieces they saved from their appliance/toy, some took their object home, and some are going to continue to work on it next week. It's so cool to see the perseverance in the kids as most of them worked the entire hour and a half pulling apart one object with screw drives and hammers (don't worry we all wear our safety glasses).
Reverse engineering/take apart is a cheap and easy way to run a MakerSpace. The appliances came from the students home, the tools (Two 15 pack of screwdrivers), 20 googles, and tool box to store them, all for $50 at Harbor Freight Tools. If you scroll down this blog you will see some of the cool things our Summer MakerClub kids made from parts of appliances/toys.
Kids use and learn so many skills from taking apart stuff. Perseverance as I mentioned above is one of them; along with communication and collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking, design thinking, basic engineering, and simply how to use common house hold tools. There was a lot of righty-tighty lefty-loosey today.
And in true MakerSpace fashion we had some kids that just wanted to do their own thing and follow their own ideas. Oliva and our Adrian College helper Jessica made a great mural out of cardboard and markers. Some of the boys made a awesome ramp for a car that someone brought to take apart (of course that did not happen) The boys saved the ramp as we have more in store for it.
Oh and did I mention, one of the kids found a worm in the Keurig he was taking apart!