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Engaging students through Makerspaces!

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Grade 7, 8 and 9 students at Sangudo Community School (SCS) took part in a new learning experience in May. Through the combined efforts of NGPS Learning Services and SCS, students spent a few weeks in May using a wide variety of materials and tools to explore areas of learning that interested them. Each student determined the area they wanted to explore and were then tasked with designing and building a project that demonstrated what they had learned about their chosen topic. The newly created makerspace within Sangudo Community School served as the backdrop for their learning.

A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build. Makerspaces provide tools and space for project design and construction, and can include numerous tools and resources from paints and easels and impromptu stage sets to cooktops and 3D printers (excellent for prototyping). Used by students and staff, makerspaces have become arenas for informal, project-driven, self-directed learning, providing work space to tinker, try out solutions and hear input from peers with similar interests.

To say that students were enthusiastic would be a great understatement. Talk about what the students were working on was constant with parents sharing that the makerspace was also the big subject of conversation at home. Skills developed included research, writing project proposals, design, presentation, blogging and the use of tools such as soldering irons, sewing machines and the school's new 3D printer (a whole world of excitement in itself).

Some of the projects students engaged in:

  • jewelry making
  • designing phone cases to be created by the 3D printer
  • creating a musical instrument played by stepping on coloured pads connected to a computer
  • studying and displaying the work done by a modern farrier
  • creating a fashion company/logo, drawing a pattern for a skirt and sewing it 

Students are still talking about the possibilities for next year as SCS staff look at how to expand the overall potential of this program. The makerspace room has been organized in one wing of the school, adjacent to the Learning Commons and Music Room. In this way, the school hopes to locate all of their specialty rooms, including the Art trailer, together, so that students can relocate easily as they plan, build and decorate. The 3D printer will be upgraded next year with the addition of a scanner and 3D pens, and the school is searching for talented community members to contribute their time, skills and knowledge to the program next year.

This year's program culminated with a showcase where students were able to share their learning with parents and the school community.

Hilltop student contributes knowledge & skill to school community Celebrating Seniors at EEE