What is a MakerSpace?
The Coolidge MakerSpace Lab was designed to allow our students to be creative, innovative and tinkering thinkers. It is a place where they will learn to be independent workers and responsible collaborators.
What is a MakerSpace?We believe that our MakerSpace Lab is not an "alternative" way to learn, but what modern learning really should look like.
What are the Benefits of A MakerSpace?
What Do We Have in Our MakerSpace?
Provide students opportunities that allow them to fail in order to succeed
Emphasize to students and teachers the importance of process over outcome
Provide for student opportunities to enhance Project, Problem, Design, Inquiry, and Challenge Based Learning
Promote student literacy through writing, reflecting, and journal writing while Making in specific subject areas
Engage students in relevance and connections through authentic learning
Allow students to see the importance and value of the arts
Allow students to be a part of partnerships between school, home, and community
Create opportunities for students to be producers of content and products
Little Bits electronics are easy to use color-coded magnetic pieces that engage students and allow them to create things like motorized fans, dimming lights, alarms, etc. The kids love to collaborate on ideas and then work together to make them come alive.
CubeLets are blocks that connect by magnets. Each block is responsible for a different function- spacial, power, brightness, etc. Students bundle these blocks and create robots that can perform a variety of activities limited only by their imaginations! The OzoBot station is one of our most popular in the MakerSpace Lab. These little robots are programmed by magic markets. Students draw a path for their OzoBot with each combination of colors directing the OzoBot to travel in a specific pattern- slowly, spin, make a u-turn, etc. They love creating the route and then watching their OzoBot go! Our younger students enjoy creating with the magnetic Magna-Tiles. These innovative tiles allow students to create and design anything their imaginations come up with while at the same time manipulating and learning about shapes and magnetism. With our K'nex kits the students create everything from Zip Lines to cars snapping together thousands of pieces in a variety of shapes and sizes. The kits come with how-to instructions, but we've held them back allowing the kids to push themselves and each other while talking and designing! I don't know of any child nor adult that can resist building on the Lego Wall. Students create 3D projects from placing their name to robots to flying cars upon the wall. They are encouraged to leave their creations up for the next group of students to add onto, improve upon or change the existing creations which also builds on our sense of Community. Our youngest students love playing with Gears! Gears! Gears! They have the choice of working independently or as a group, building movable towers or tracks while learning the science behind the ways that things move. The pieces are engaging and offer endless possibilities for the students' imaginations! The newest product ordered for our MakerSpace Lab should be arriving shortly and the kids are sure to love it! Sphero Sprk is programmed by the students through any devise. They will be using block-based coding and creating a wide assortment of functions that will allow the Sphero to move in circles, forward, backward and more. Makey Makey allows kids to hook ordinary objects (like bananas) up with alligator clips and they "magically" turn into musical instruments! The students are certain to love this activity coming soon to the Coolidge MakerSpace Lab. The Coding area has been set up in the Lab with ChromeBooks and iPads. Students will soon be using this space to create programs using websites like Scratch, Kodable, Code.Org and others.
How Does The MakerSpace Work?The MakerSpace Lab was designed completely with our students in mind. They are the ones who have the control and drive the direction of the Space (while always keeping our Cougar Constitution in mind!). However, teachers will bring students down to either work at the stations without a direction or the teachers may have a task for the students to attempt to complete. Each of the Stations have Challenge Cards for the kids to collaborate on or the use of the room for that day may be focused on current curriculum content. Whatever the purpose of the using the Lab for that day, students are certain to build necessary perseverance, collaboration, self-esteem necessary to be successful in today's world.Another important part of this room is the learning and reflection that goes on here. Students enter the Lab and sit in a circle on the carpet where they are given the instructions for the period. At the end of their "making" time, they gather once again to reflect and discuss what they learned, made and discovered that day!
Curriculum Connections and MakerSpaceIt is great to tie curriculum connections into the MakerSpace when it fits naturally, but we don't want to force it. Kids will thrive on the time given to simply make and create. However, here are some of the connections that can occur in the room.
Resources Kids Can Use at HomeGet Your Kids Coding
- Use the MakerSpace to show balanced and unbalanced forces (3rd grade)
- How can you make the CubeLets stop at the end of the table without falling off? (5th grade)
- Think about how in our lessons we spoke about "exploration" and how could you create a vessel that would withstand the variety of elements? (5th grade)
- Use the materials found in the MakerSpace to create sets of ten (10)- (Kindergarten)
- Create a paper circuits using one of the many task cards (4th Grade)
- Use the materials found in the MakerSpace and create as many 3-dimensional shapes as possible (1st grade)
- Use any of the material found in the MakerSpace and create an insect that includes all of its parts (2nd grade)
DIY -DIY is a safe online community for kids to
discover new passions, level up their skills,
and meet fearless kids just like themselves.Built by Kids- How-to projects, activities and ideas
Instructables- People sharing things that they made
Make it @ Your Library- Ideas of things to "make" by age level
PBS Kids Design Squad- Design, things to build and games
Tinker Lab- For mini-makers and tinkerers
The Tinkering Studio- Project ideasWonderopolis- What are you wondering?Game Creation
Sploder- Where games come true
GameStar Mechanic- Gamestar Mechanic uses fun,
game-based quests and courses to help learn game
design and make your own video games.
Scratch- Learn coding and design video games