Feb 20

Putting Students on the Stage

Our makerspace continues to grow and we continue to learn better ways to manage the equipment, the space, and the students. It’s only been two months, but I’m proud of how things have rolled out. It’s super important that those of us involved in this process continue to learn from others to make sure we are not settling for good enough. We have and will continue to share our process. We’ve learned from others and I feel it’s essential for us to tell our story so others can learn from us – both things that have gone well and things we would do differently. I love that we’ve been getting the word out about our makerspace and sharing the great things that are happening. We try to do that via our school Twitter account, our new Instagram account, and our makerspace blog. I believe an even stronger message can come from students.

At an upcoming School Board meeting, we’ve been asked to have a few students talk about our makerspace and demonstrate some of the items we have available. Choosing which students to share would seem to be an easy decision, but with so many students using the space and so many good candidates, the decision wasn’t simple. After watching the students for a few days, a few clear choices stood out.

We recently held parent-teacher conferences and one of the things we wanted to share with parents was our new makerspace. We had signs encouraging parents to stop by with their students to play and explore. During one of the nights, one particular student came by with her mom and went from station to station explaining in great detail the expectations. I wish I could have followed her around with a video recorder because she was amazing. Naturally, when I needed to find a student to speak at the School Board meeting, she was my first choice.

Another student was working in the makerspace with a friend and exploring the Little Bits. They were working together to make a little piano and I suggested she try to play a song. It didn’t take long for them to figure it and when she did complete it, she said, “Yes, I did it.” Fortunately, I was recording this, and you can see the video clip below. That phrase made me so happy. I immediately thought she should be another great student to speak in front of the Board.

To provide some structured activities for students in some of the centers, we created challenges the students can complete. During one of the study hall periods, two boys came in to complete the challenges. They were successful with the first challenge and were ready for more. After completing three of the challenges and earning the badges, all during one class period, they were interested in more. I really liked their enthusiasm and felt they would also be great students to represent our school at the meeting.

I cannot be at the meeting myself, but I’m very confident the students will represent themselves, our makerspace, and our school wonderfully.  When we put students in front, given them a voice, it can be very powerful. I’m excited to hear how it goes, I know they’ll do well.



Mary Had a Little Lamb played using @littlebits in our #makerspace!! So awesome. #makered

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These guys are programming their Ollies so they can earn certain driving badges in the #makerspace.

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