Whether a room or an entire department, makerspaces are giving teachers the space to focus on content that integrates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths). These student-directed, DIY areas have also become a place for children to create, invent and learn during after-school activities, clubs and break times.
Equipped with everything from 3D printers, power tools and laser-cutters to sewing machines, glue and the simple cardboard tube, makerspaces are all about hands-on learning. Students from kindergarten through to college are using new tools and resources to reach a solution. They are going beyond the classroom to create solutions to real-world solutions. And they are developing key critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
These are the spaces within a school where you can expect to see students setting up an electrical circuit, building a battery tester, programming a robot, designing a space station from a shoe box, or sewing together a cushion cover. The list is endless.
The makerspace takes on many different forms. At UWC South East Asia’s East campus, for example, there are corners of junior school classrooms dedicated to “a mini creation station that offers a variety of paper, markers, fabrics, reusable materials, and building materials to use during transition and break times.” By contrast, schools including UWCSEA’s Dover campus and Canadian International School’s Lakeside campus have dedicated an entire department as a makerspace.
Here are some of our favourite makerspaces at international schools in Singapore. Let's start with Stamford American International School...