Creative thinking and student ownership are the hallmarks of the new Simpson Middle makerspace.
Each year, we strive to weave another layer to the intricate tapestry that is our library space. This year I decided that my focus would be to truly develop Simpson’s makerspace not only into a physical space, but into a part of the culture of our school. Two of the most valuable resources during the planning stages were others who had started makerspaces and would share their wisdom either at conferences or via Twitter, and the book The Kickstart Guide to Making Great Makerspacesby Laura Fleming. So far in the first six weeks of the school year, we have obtained space for our area, set the stage by painting and furnishing the area, stocked it with all sorts of craft and technologies that can drive students’ hearts and heads, and held a red-ribbon grand opening celebration to kick us off.
Kerri Waller, an art teacher at Simpson, says “the Makerspace brings STEAM to all kids at our school at any time of the day.” Students have overwhelmed us with support. Not only do they make their way to every event that we hold before school, they have found ways already in just four weeks to integrate the tools and supplies and ideology into their classroom projects.
A sixth grader who completed his project on igneous rock in the makerspace beamed “it was fun to use new things.” Developing a school maker culture will take time, but I am here with the help of those that went before and the ideas and energy of my school community.
Holly Frilot, Supervisor
Library Media Education