Excitement is in the air! The new “Maker Space” at Park Maitland School is taking root in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) movement of education. It provides a learning space in which students can tinker and make things while building 21st Century Learning skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity!
Initially, projects have focused on using the design process to collaborate and accomplish a goal! Some students worked together to design a packing envelope to successfully transport a fragile rice cake through the mail. After prediction and testing, students now await their packages to return to discover their design’s durability! Students even participated in a critique process with peers and learned to use feedback to improve their ideas. Some students used the design process to explore the world of robotics by creating robots with purposes, like robot pencil fans or robots that can make snow. They even created programmed art, such as polka dots or circles! Other students partnered up and acted as each other’s clients. They interviewed one another and created a design for the ideal “green” lounge chair. Over a series of interviews and developing small prototypes, the students have been actively creating chairs to please their “clients” and accomplish their goals. Students are excited about creating their line designs in our 3-D printer in upcoming projects. This tool will further propel our learning, design thinking, and innovation!
By equipping students with 21st Century Learning skills, developing in them a desire and passion to make, create, and innovate by using a design process, we are preparing them to tackle and valuably contribute to the ever-changing world around them!
Written by Evelyn McCulloch, Smart Tech Teacher and Lead Innovator