The Maker Space
With only a little over two months before we break ground on the Middle School Addition I am feeling very excited about the opportunities this new facility will provide for our students. One of the features of the new building will be a Tech/Maker Space. Although we will need to wait until further on in the construction process to determine how much of a budget we have for equipping the space, it’s not too soon to start thinking about how it may be used.
According to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), “Makerspaces are a hands-on method for STEAM learning, giving students space to explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.” They are meant to provide students with experiences that help them become more proficient in collaboration, questioning, problem-solving, and critical thinking.
A makerspace can create the opportunity for students to apply knowledge and demonstrate understanding of a concept, whether the subject is science, literature, history or any other.
Makerspaces are an excellent place for students to practice Design Thinking, in which they attempt to solve real problems through a process that includes five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.
I would love to see our makerspace equipped with the tools for students to practice audio/video production, robotics, and prototyping using computer controlled tools such as laser cutters and 3D printers.
When I envision a middle school makerspace I am reminded of my nephew, Easton LaChappelle’s experience (see video). I can’t wait to see what our students’ young creative minds can do with this opportunity.