Items that students utilize in the makerspace range from cardboard to Ozobot robots. Students have engaged in creating and narrating the timeline and story of Rosa Parks, and used the robots to code a move at each significant moment in her life. Another literacy connection was made when students read a book about space travel and then worked in teams using blocks and magnatiles to build something that would make life easier on a spaceship. Among some of the other available items, which were largely funded by an anonymous donation to Brookdale, are iPads, Makey Makey, Sphero, and Cubelets. Activities in the makerspace are not just designed as “play,” but as exploration of passion and challenges that require collaboration and perseverance. The room is meant to encourage experimentation without the fear of making mistakes.
The impact that the makerspace has already had on the students is real. There are countless lessons learned throughout the inquiry process and the real-life experiences children have encountered are certain to be ones our students will not forget.
“I think the makerspace is great because you get to create and work together as a team. We build things, are challenged, and have to learn from our mistakes.”
Sola Takahashi, Third Grade Student