We began the year with Lego Robotics, as I've demonstrated in a previous post. They took to this right away, quickly shirking the directions and coming up with their own amazing creations.
Before too long, we had switched to the Lego Mindstorm kit, and we were doing some really cool stuff.
But then, I made the wonderful mistake of introducing the guys to Minecraft. And from that point forward, it's been very hard to pull them away. They arrive in the lab and are working until I basically cut the power to their computers. Currently, they are helping me with my "Epic Minecraft Map" project. They are learning the ins and outs of building large and impressive structures inside the game world. I sometimes have a hard time getting them to update our wiki, but you can follow along here.
But while they have been occupied with Minecraft, a wonderful thing has happened. Other students have started coming by. Indeed, the sixth grade boys who don't normally have clubs right after school (study hall instead) began to beg to come and join the club. After some negotiations with the administration, that became a reality. My only problem with these guys is all of their friends come by and want to join, as well. I simply can't accommodate so many students in a 17-computer lab.
Then, when I wasn't looking, a few girls began to poke their heads in the lab during club time. At first, they weren't willing to sit down and get to work on something. I mean, girls don't join computer/technology clubs, do they? After a couple of days, though, one of them had the guts to pick up some Lego robotics. Then, a couple more joined in. Now, they're happily working away, chatting about the possibility of an all-girls robotics team.
So, it's 4:10 yesterday, and I have 7 10th grade boys toiling away on our Epic Minecraft Map. There are 10 6th grade boys eagerly helping each other with a Minecraft survival map. And, to top it all off, there are three girls sitting at the center table working on robotics.
And I realize that at some point, this turned into a real club. In the coming weeks, the girls are very excited to crack open the Vex robotics kit that the boys have all but forgotten. That's fine with me. After all, this isn't "school," and I'm not here to tell you what you should be interested in. I'm just providing a fun and safe place to explore your interests.