Mister Rogers Sweater Keychain – SCOPES Digital Fabrication

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Author

Abigail Barton
Maker
Abigail Barton is the AmeriCorps Maker Fellow VISTA for the Fab Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to democratizing access to digital fabrication tools that create opportunities worldwide. Abigail serves capacity building for the educational Fab Lab in the Carnegie… Read More

Summary

In this lesson students will design sweater keychains in honor of Mister Rogers. We will be looking at how his work in helping children develop socio-emotional skills inspired congress to grant 20 million dollars in funding for PBS. The lesson uses 2D vector design software and a laser cutter to produce students final design. Students will discuss what they think the importance of Fred Rogers work was and how it impacts us to this day.

 

 

What You'll Need

Laser Cutter

Computers one per student w/ Internet access

Software Inkscape

Acrylic Sheets or Wood for laser cutting

Keychain jump rings

 

The Instructions

Introduction

The instructor will introduce Mister Rogers and show the video link of his testimony in congress. Students will be asked to discuss their reaction to the video and what they think the importance of Mister Rogers work is.

Once you have welcomed the students, give them a brief explanation about Mister Rogers and what we will be doing today.

 

Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers from the children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, was idolized for his gentle ways of teaching children to be kind. His program on PBS ran from 1968 to 2001 and became a staple in many households. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood helped children and adults learn how to form meaningful relationships with all people in their lives and how to manage their own emotional development. Today we will be looking at his testimony to congress on May 1st 1969 as an example of how necessary and inspiring his teachings were.

 

Show students the testimony linked here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKy7ljRr0AA

 

Have students discuss what they think of the video. Ask them about the difference is how he was treated by the committee members in the beginning vs after he explained what he does on Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Why do they think his work is important?

 

 

 

Designing

Students will explore Inkscape and start designing their sweaters.

Make sure to have several designs of the sweaters cutting out on the laser cutter for students to view or an example for them to hold.

 

One of the iconic symbols of Mister Rogers was his cardigan sweaters, knitted for him by his mom, that he put on in the beginning of each program. In honor his work we will be designing and making laser cut sweater keychains.

 

Pass out computers and have students open Inkscape. Allow students 5-10 minutes to create and explore with limited or no guidance from the instructor.

 

Save the file as “STUDENT NAME” and “SWEATER KEYCHAIN”

Set up the document to the size of the laser cutter (24” x 12”)

Have students find a sweater outline, use provided template, or create their own.

(the noun project is recommend if using outline from computer)