Our next grant for the 2018-19 School Year is for Makerspace for fifth and sixth graders. After attending the TIES educational technology conference and talking to the neighboring school district technology integrationists, instructors would like to bring Makerspace to Prairie Wind Middle School.
According to the Makerspace website, “Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways for students to design, experiment and invent as they engage in science, engineering, and tinkering.” PWMS instructors will receive two MackinMaker kits that come ready to be put to use immediately in the classroom. The kits come with 5 stations and challenge cards that include coding, robotics, low-tech engineering, integrated circuitry, and more. Kits are designed for 12 students at a time, so two kits will cover a classroom so the entire class can be engaged in station activities.
Instructors expect two different outcomes. Students in fifth and sixth grade students will use the Makerspace in Computer Applications. The Makerspace will introduce students to coding that they will be doing with the Spheros, which were also funded by 549 Family Foundation. In the new enrichment class, fifth graders will experience a more in-depth learning of the challenges.
Makerspaces have proven to be an innovative way for students to take on challenges in the area of STEM. School districts in the area have introduced this program with much success. HOTL is also utilizing Makerspaces, so the building blocks to use these new kits/challenges have been set.