At the lower end of this large US-style school, you’ll find students from Grade 3-5 in the cosy, fun and very resource-full Creativity Station, where they are re-purposing recycled materials from egg-boxes to milk cartons. There are marble mazes running overhead, papier mache skyscrapers, and even flobberworms!
Open during morning and lunch breaks, this colourful – and fantastically messy and chaotic – room gives children an opportunity to be creative with everyday items. Look hard enough, and you’ll even spot a piano in the corner. It’s run by a parent, who is now employed by the school full time to run the centre after students raised a petition to extend the opening hours.
The school says: “We created this centre for children to come in during their lunch breaks and make things, and make friends.”
The Middle School makerspace has helped to transform what is typically the quietest part of a campus into a hive of activity. Located inside the library, this space is always abuzz with young builders and engineers. You can expect to see projects as varied as designing a unicycle, guitar or a wooden clock with gears through to building prototypes for new student lockers or a video arcade machine.
Staffed by an ‘instructional coach’ with a strong design background, the makerspace is used by many middle school students during their TRi-Time; similar to Google 20% Time or Genius Hour, this part of the school day is dedicated to independently working on a project of the student’s choice. Students are also encouraged to use the facility during breaks and after school.
The school says: “This makerspace is a space for students to work on their own projects, and they can come here for help, whether it’s building a skateboard or learning how to sew. This is the place that gives them the choice to explore a passion instead of following a pre-set curriculum.
“Because it’s in the library, everyone sees it and there are a lot of ‘walk-ins’. Students can feel the buzz here and think of things they’d never thought of before.”
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