The Academy Makerspace
Room 310 on the third floor of the Lower School wing has been made over to create our own educational makerspace to enhance the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) curriculum for students in grades 4 through 8 and to provide a project based learning environment where students can delve deeply into core concepts and ideas in STEAM.
What is a Makerspace?
Makerspaces are places open to a community of users for the purpose of designing, engineering, fabricating, and educating the community it serves. It is a space that provides manufacturing tools and equipment that people, and in the case of the Academy, students can use to develop their own ideas, experiment with designs, build prototypes, and learn how to work in a collaborative environment.
Features of the Academy Makerspace
Our makerspace features work benches and stools, a Starboard, and segregated spaces for computers, design, and group projects. Makerspace equipment includes: 3DPrinters, sewing machines, laser cutters, circuit boards and other pieces for electronics, soldering materials, a new of set of 30 Chromebook tablets, and much more!
Benefits to Students
The benefits of makerspaces:
- Significant impact on learning and development
- Learner-centered, hands-on approach to problem solving
- Real-world career exploration experiences
- Preparation for the future skills needed in the 21st Century
In fact, makerspaces were recently identified as one of six important developments in educational technology for K-12 education by the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report for 2015, which states, “Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration” (p. 38).