Middle School Embraces Badging with DIY.org

Aug 26, 2015 | Have Fun, Maker, Middle School News

Screenshot 2015-08-26 09.00.00Badging, a visual representation of an accomplishment, achievement or skill acquisition, is taking off in the Middle School. Only recently demonstrated by faculty, badging is not new to our students. They have been learning and earning for several years, now. Helping to make incremental learning more visible, similar to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, badging is becoming increasingly more popular, especially for Will Garner and Klaire Mason in grade 7, along with Aubrey EllisGreg Fuentes, Addison Haylett, and Kate Tudor, all in grade 5. These six middle schoolers earned many badges throughout the summer by accessing an online platform, DIY.org, a kid-friendly, social, challenge-sharing site. 
Screenshot 2015-08-25 16.27.24DIY shows kids that anyone can do anything just by trying. Hundreds of skills are available, such as: Angler, Chef, Geneticist, Home Builder and Illustrator to name a few. Students select a skill to master – Astronomer, attempt one of the many listed challenges – Model an Asteroid or Make a Solar Viewer, post their outcome – photo or video, receive peer feedback – hearts for likes, and earn actual embroidered patches.
Screenshot 2015-08-26 09.00.18Two years ago, when in third grade, Aubrey Ellis and Greg Fuentes were introduced to the DIY.org app. Since then, Greg Fuentes, aka Dodger Dan, has earned so many badges he has lost count. He can count, however, the projects he posted that were standout staff picks, signified by a yellow ribbon – three – one for engineering a Lego crossbow, a second for creating a 3-D printed Yoda figure and another for building a lego scene.
When asked how this online badging process helps students learn, Aubrey responded, “It teaches you life skills but it’s fun. It’s not like sitting in class having someone tell you the steps. You get to figure it out on your own.” She continues, “After I finish my schoolwork, I go on and explore on it. I do it on car rides, too.”