Many maker educators struggle with the idea of prepackaged "kit" projects, and many students struggle to come up with ideas when given open ended prompts and creative freedom. What is the value in a design challenge that leads to impossible or unrealistic solutions? Has a student who followed step by step instructions really built a robot? These are challenging questions in many educational Makerspaces.
In this presentation I will discuss three modes of making; imitation, modification, and innovation. Each of these three methods teaches different skills and requires familiarity with the others to be successful. I will share example of these three methods, what can be learned from each, and how to assess student performance in these tasks.