kid at table making crafts

Makerspaces: Expanding Creativity

Students at Discovery Middle School have been expressing their creativity using a Makerspace. This opportunity was made possible by Library Media Specialist Patricia Donat and her interest in the Makerspace movement. Makerspaces are community centers with tools, opening students up to design, engineering, fabrication, and education.

Three years ago, Donat created the school’s Makerspace in the library. A new project is available approximately every two weeks, adding in components of technology and recycled materials. Students typically drop in before school, after school, or during their advisory period to create the latest projects.

“I try to make many of our projects ‘green’,” said Donat. “Students used recycled materials to make different items such as earbud holders, book pumpkins, little yarn hats, CD coasters, etc.”

Technology is another makerspace creative focus.

“Currently we have littleBits, Makey Makey, green screen projects, and virtual reality (VR) sets, which will be scheduled out for students to use intermittently through the school year,” said Donat. “I will add more projects each year.”

As each new project is planned, Donat creates or finds a video explaining the instructions, allowing students to create without teacher assistance. Most recently, students created 3D snowflakes out of copy paper by following along a video tutorial.

“Students are always in need of a creative outlet,” said Donat. “And the Makerspace provides that opportunity independently or collaboratively.”

Whether they are experiencing VR, assembling littleBits, or creating 3D snowflakes, these students’ creativity will continue to be unstoppable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured: Seventh grader Teegan Lee presenting the snowflake he created at the Makerspace.