One of the exciting additions to our school last year was an area of the library called the Makerspace, which is a laboratory and technology center for constructing physical objects. This has been described as “DIY meets education.” It is a “workshop space” that provides students with a variety of different materials, which can act as “provocation for inquiry,” and various technological tools, with which they can invent. The space, curated by science teachers Ms. Dobler and Ms. Shapiro and librarian Ms. Hamm, features a variety of tools and kits, including Spheros, Arduino electronics kits, Legos, and a 3D Pinter.
Last year, the Makerspace was housed exclusively in the library. This year, students and teachers may access the supplies and tools from a mobile Makerspace cart. Students may use these items to design products for the science fair, explore concepts in the Robotics elective, or to complete projects in a variety of different disciplines. Before break, students used the Makerspace to decorate the hallways for the holiday season, using copper tape, lights, and art supplies to create cards and origami decorations.
The 3D printer has been an exciting addition for several students and is probably the highlight of the Makerspace. Students have used it to create plastic strands, called filament, and mold them into 3D designs.
A 10th grade student, Miles Tiller, was named earlier this year as an intern for the Makerspace program. Called a “Maketern,” he assists students in using the materials for their classes or to explore personal interests. He is also one of a small core team of students who has also helped repair broken supplies and order new parts to keep the materials and tools working well.
For the teachers and students who use the Makerspace, it is exciting not just to have this dynamic technology, but to be using our library as a place for creativity and production. The library in many ways is one of the most dynamic and actively used spaces in our school, and we are thrilled to have it as a space for great young minds to meet, discuss, analyze, build, and solve problems.