In the final days of 2017, students, educators, and the Maker VISTA members of Grass Valley Elementary School in Oakland celebrated the culmination of their first-semester maker-centered learning unit with their very own ComiCon. As a marker of the impressive accomplishment of now having every classroom and student in the school engaged in making, the theme of this ComiCon was “Self as Superhero.” Envisioning themselves as community problem-solvers, students shared their self-identified superhero powers and potential with parents, peers, and community members. Projects took the form of personalized capes, graphic novels written and illustrated by students, a community mural of a dream city in which all citizens empower and support each other, and various skits, shadow-boxes, and dioramas portraying strategies for combating everything from pollution to crime to budget cuts. Maker VISTA members Dylan Campbell and Ignacia Ojeda created publicity materials and ComiCon buttons, supported student-led projects in the makerspace, and got hands-on as sidekicks the superheroes could turn to for troubleshooting, costume changes, and BOOM! POW! BRAINSTORMING!
For these superheroes and superhero-supporters, these tools and resources were essential:
- Hot glue