Smithfield Middle School: Makerspace Mornings!

Smithfield Middle School: Makerspace Mornings!

The Maker Movement has taken Smithfield Middle School by storm! Last week librarian Beth Muirheid launched Maker Mornings in the library and the student turnout was incredible. “What do you do in a makerspace? The simple answer is you make things. Things that you are curious about. Things that spring from your imagination. Things that inspire you and things that you admire. The informal, playful atmosphere allows learning to unfold, rather than conform to a rigid agenda. Making, rather than consuming is the focus. It is craft, engineering, technology and wonder-driven.”-Thinkers and Tinkerers

With the help of a Birdville Foundation grant, Beth supplies a variety of activities for students like 3D pens, robotics, 3D architecture, soft crafts, and take-a-parts where students dissect old electronic equipment to see how things work on the inside. Once students agree to and sign a Maker Morning contract, they get to choose a tub that holds an activity they are interested in.Once they check out a tub, it is theirs for one week to explore and create as they see fit. Basic instructions are provided on each tub but the idea right now is to get kids exploring and pique their curiosity. Students are encouraged to collaborate and learn from each other in informal, project-driven, self-directed learning. "The makerspace provides them a place to tinker, try out solutions and hear input from others with similar interests." - Educause Based on the number of students still attending Maker Mornings, one week after launch, I think this movement is here to stay.

If you’ve never been to a Makerspace, I encourage you to find one at your local library or go online to find a place near you. It’s just as fun for the adults as it is the kids. Let’s just say, I couldn't keep my hands off one of the take-a-parts this morning!

by: Rashel Larson