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Maker's Red box
Design and Technology
Maker's Red Box offers project-based STEAM courses for 21st century soft and technical skills

Maker's Red Box equips teachers with everything they need to inspire children to solve intriguing problems and acquire 21st century soft and technical skills. Hands-on learning is powered by storytelling and role-play. It's designed to spark curiosity and create a safe and encouraging learning space for everyone.

Every Maker’s Red Box contains a 32-hour-long state-of-the-art STEAM course. The course consists of 16 workshops building on each other, which can be carried out as a semester-long school activity or an afterschool program, or as a 5-day long camp. The box includes a teacher’s toolkit packed with how-to videos, comprehensive teacher guides, supplementary materials, and various supporting features.

Currently, Maker's Red Box has 3 products available: Superheroes-Digital Storytelling, City of the Future, and Green Engineers. Green Engineers covers the story of a space mission: a team of exceptional space engineers is formed to get to Mars and terraform the planet. The story evokes the inner explorer in children making every session just another adventure. Completing the mission is only possible if they create their own sustainable and efficient designs by employing their newly acquired tech skills.

Age groups 
Middle school
Non-digital product
Not required
Offline play 
Internet required
Educational Quality
Learning Goals

The pedagogical analysis covers how the product supports learning of the identified skills. The student’s role is assessed by four contrary pair parameters, which are selected to cover the most essential aspects on the use of the product.

The learner has a highly active role while using the product: participation, making, and collaboration are key features for successful work within the group. In order to progress the learner is required to acquire and use new information. The tasks promote both creative and practical work, and there is a good balance of story, theory, discussion, and actual making. Maker's Red Box has a good focus on the teacher/instructor training; there are instructions and tips on how to encourage learners.
Green Engineers course supports learning new things through creative tasks and requires utilizing learned in open-ended problem-solving. Prior skills or knowledge need to be used in conjunction with new, and Progress is based on utilizing individual tactics to solve challenges.
Green Engineers material is very comprehensive and has good support material. The course has been divided into 16 sessions and each session has been scheduled accurately. The teacher/instructor has plenty of support available, although it was noted that the teacher needs to have some level of technical experience before being able to conduct the class. The actual tasks support creative work well and there are chances to execute many of them in a personal way.
Green Engineers provides opportunities for highly collaborative learning processes: The course doesn't allow passing through the content without interacting with other users. Face-to-face interaction is a necessary part of the learning experience. There's guidance for facilitating constructive collaboration.

The following are the high educational quality aspects in this product.

The course subjects and challenges are highly motivating and real-life related. The lesson plans and the sessions are structured effectively.
The product contains a wide range of high-quality curated materials for teachers to conduct the course.
The pedagogical approach supports the learning of several essential 21st century skills, such as teamwork, creative problem-solving and exploration of different solutions.

The supported learning goals are identified by matching the product with several relevant curricula descriptions on this subject area. The soft skills are definitions of learning goals most relevant for the 21st century. They are formed by taking a reference from different definitions of 21st century skills and Finnish curriculum.

Subject based learning goals

representing distributions of results and making estimations of uncertainty
interpreting observations and other data, including identifying patterns and trends, making inferences and drawing conclusions
Critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others.
being objective, evaluating data in terms of accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility and identifying potential sources of random and systematic error
Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.
Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing].
using prefixes and powers of ten for orders of magnitude (e.g. tera, giga, mega, kilo, centi, milli, micro and nano)
using an appropriate number of significant figures in calculations
Select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.
Create and debug simple programs.
Use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.
Explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.
Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately.
Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
Evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
Design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
Use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.
Understand and use mechanical systems in their products [for example, gears, pulleys, cams, levers and linkages].
Understand and use electrical systems in their products [for example, series circuits incorporating switches, bulbs, buzzers and motors].
Apply their understanding of computing to program, monitor and control their products.
Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
Develop and communicate design ideas using annotated sketches, detailed plans, 3-D and mathematical modelling, oral and digital presentations and computer-based tools.
Select from and use specialist tools, techniques, processes, equipment and machinery precisely, including computer-aided manufacture.
Select from and use a wider, more complex range of materials, components and ingredients, taking into account their properties.
Investigate new and emerging technologies.
Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
Learn to analyse problems in computational terms
Make appropriate use of data structures.
Apply computing and use electronics to embed intelligence in products that respond to inputs [for example, sensors], and control outputs [for example, actuators], using programmable components [for example, microcontrollers].
Achieve challenging goals, including collecting and analysing data and meeting the needs of known users.
Be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility.
Create, re-use, revise and re-purpose digital artefacts for a given audience, with attention to trustworthiness, design and usability.
Design and develop modular programs that use procedures or functions.
Make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding.
Design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems.
Learn to evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
Understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
Undertake creative projects that involve selecting, using, and combining multiple applications, preferably across a range of devices.
Develop and apply their analytic, problem-solving, design, and computational thinking skills.
Develop their capability, creativity and knowledge in computer science, digital media and information technology.
Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations.
Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
Undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques.
Understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions.
using a variety of concepts and models to develop scientific explanations and understanding
explaining everyday and technological applications of science; evaluating associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and making decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments
using scientific theories and explanations to develop hypotheses
planning experiments to make observations, test hypotheses or explore phenomena
making and recording observations and measurements using a range of apparatus and methods
presenting observations and other data using appropriate methods
carrying out and representing mathematical and statistical analysis
Develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
Build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.

Soft skills learning goals

Encouraging to build new information and visions
Practicing to work with others
Learning decision-making, influencing and accountability
Using technology as a part of explorative and creative process
Understanding and interpreting of matrices and diagrams
Building common knowledge of technological solutions and their meaning in everyday life
Using technology resources for problem solving
Understanding technological system operations through making
Using technological resources for finding and applying information
Understanding and practicing safe and responsible uses of technology
Practicing logical reasoning, algorithms and programming through making
Using technology as a part of explorative process
Practicing categorization and classification
Practicing persistent working
Developing problem solving skills
Learning to find the joy of learning and new challenges
Creating requirements for creative thinking
Practicing creative thinking
Encouraging students to be innovative and express new ideas
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Practicing strategic thinking
Practising to understand visual concepts and shapes and observe their qualities
Practicing to use information independently and interactively
Practicing to find, evaluate and share information
Practicing fine motor skills
Practicing to observe spoken and written language
Practising visual recognition
Learning to notice causal connections
Practicing to find ways of working that are best for oneself
Practicing to take responsibility of one's own learning
Practicing to improvise
Practicing to use imagination and to be innovative
Learning to recognise and evaluate arguments and their reasonings
Practicing to notice causal connections
Practicing to create questions and make justifiable arguments based on observations
Practicing to look things from different perspectives
Practicing to plan and execute studies, make observations and measurements
Learning to face failures and disappointments
Recognizing habits that are good for sustainable living
Supporting the growth of environmental awareness
Encouraging the growth of positive self-image
Practicing to take care of one's own wellbeing and health
Practicing to take care of one's own and other people’s safety
Practicing to take care of own and other people’s safety
Learning to build information on top of previously learned
Learning to combine information to find new innovations
Practicing to notice links between subjects learned
Learning to face respectfully people and follow the good manners
Learning to understand people, surroundings and phenomenons around us
Practicing to argument clearly own opinions and reasonings
Learning to listen other people’s opinions
Learning to understand the meaning of rules, contracts and trust
Practicing to express own thoughts and feelings
Practicing to give, get and reflect feedback
Enabling the growth of positive self-image
Encouraging positive attitude towards working life
Practicing time management
Learning to plan and organize work processes
Practicing decision making
Practicing versatile ways of working
Connecting subjects learned at school to skills needed at working life
Practicing logical reasoning to understand and interpret information in different forms

The Finnish Educational Quality Certificate

Our Quality Evaluation Method is an academically sound approach to evaluating a product’s pedagogical design from the viewpoint of educational psychology.

The method has been developed with university researchers and all evaluators are carefully selected Finnish teachers with a master's degree in education.

More about the evaluation