Light Play at Makerworld 2018


It’s amazing to see the way that making and tinkering can affect a classroom, a school and a community. All of these elements were on display this week at the 2018 Makerworld event organized by Ryan Kurada of at University Elementary School in Rohnert Park.


The students, teachers, parents and collaborators transformed a ballroom at Sonoma State into a wonderland of tools and materials. We set up a corner of the room with a light play workshop where learners could create a collaborative light and shadow installation.


I set up the blank boxes, an example and a collection of interesting materials and when the doors opened at 6:00 we were immediately full with families excited to try the activity.


It was great to see that even in this slightly chaotic environment with limited facilitation, participants were able to spend a long period of time working on their creations.


One of the best things about this activity is that I’m always surprised by the ideas that learners come up with. I was really impressed by this carefully constructed clothespin ladder that allowed a filter to stay in just the right place.

Over the course of the two hour event, we slowly filled in the series of boxes and with fifteen minutes to spare we added the final box to the 3x5 grid. Kids and adults kept coming back to the display and bringing new friends and relatives over to admire their creations.


It was great to see how all of the elements of the event fit together in both deliberate and surprising ways. There was student work next to museum exhibits, a light labyrinth next to a braille name tag press and all around a spirit of fun, play and possibility. We had so much fun participating in the event and look forward to our next chance to collaborate with these passionate makers.