Unleashing the creativity and innovation of students at Madison Middle School is transforming how they’re educated.
To advance its goals to promote STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Education and career readiness, the district is using the Middle and High School Library for its new Makerspace, which provides a more flexible, multi-purpose space with a variety of technologies, tools, materials and workstations for students to work on computer and robotic, electronic and craft projects.
“The Makerspace concept allows students to use the information they have learned in a different way or to connect what they are learning to different environments,” Middle School Principal Cotton Koch said, adding it also provides students another place to connect with our school and personalize their learning.
“Ultimately, we want to encourage students to look at STEAM careers, careers in technical education, and the concept of lifelong learning.”
The Makerspace is open to all library patrons and run by the library department. The program was funded with a Classroom Innovation Grant.
Students are encouraged to experiment, create and design their own projects in the Makerspace utilizing among other things, coding skills, a 3D printer, drones, snap circuits or by making parachute bracelets and beading.
“This type of exploration promotes our goal of student-driven learning,” Koch said . “With exploration and creating, students are connecting learning across the disciplines of science, math, the arts, technology and engineering.”
“Helping students be more creative and innovative is always a goal of our school.”
The freedom to be creative and innovative, as well as the opportunity to try and fail multiple times in the Makerspace environment has encouraged and enriched the education of the students.
“Most students love Makerspace and look forward to going to the library and will even stay after school to keep exploring,” Kock said. “This concept of trying, failing and succeeding hopefully carries over to classes like math and language arts where trying and failing are part of the process of being competent.”
“When they succeed it is wonderful to see the smile on their faces.”