We are building a makerspace in the East Boston EEC! A makerspace is a space that is created within a library, school, or its own independent space where individuals can come and create a variety of things – 3D printing projects, circuitry, papercrafts, recycled art, wood and laser cutting projects, and projects built with computer code. These makerspaces provide hands-on learning experiences where problem solving skills and creativity are valued. The website for the Keet Gooshi Hen Elementary School’s makerspace says it best:
“A makerspace is a student centered learning environment with limitless possibilities.”
Our makerspace will be located in the school library as a place where student and parent voices will be amplified. This will become a safe space that counters the typical narrative of a library, where there is a culture of silence. To understand the makerspace movement in schools, check out the following video by Dr. Paulo Blikstein, assistant professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education and director of the Transformative Learning Technologies Lab and the global FabLearn Program:
For several months, I have been working with the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) to understand how to create a makerspace at my school that is conducive to student learning and that embraces the unique interests and needs of our students. What I’ve been learning I will take back to the East Boston EEC to get the project underway.
This past Wednesday, I spent hours sorting books, clearing out the back of the library, collecting boxes, and doing other general cleaning and organizational tasks. The Innovation Team will meet next Wednesday to work on the project after school. Students will be able to conduct research, create projects, and do other fun learning activities once the makerspace is complete. Some of our young girls have already found the makerspace to be a perfect spot for doing the seated meditation and downward dog poses in yoga!