Washington First Graders Embrace School Makerspace
October 24, 2022
Washington Primary School’s makerspace is a happening place. Just ask the youngsters studying in the building this year.
A makerspace is a collaborative work space. “Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering,” according to Edutopia.
Washington first grade students became computer hardware “experts” in the school’s makerspace this week. “Following a lesson about hardware and software, students were able to demonstrate their learning through teamwork and construction,” said Dr. Michelle Richards, Washington’s principal. “From the knowledge gained from the lesson, students were able to collaborate with their table partners to plan and replicate basic components of computer hardware such as monitors, screens and speakers.”
Developing the ability to identify basic hardware components of computing devices is a New York State computer science and digital fluency standard.
“As a result, our young students will attain foundational knowledge of network and system designs,” Dr. Richards said. “These students are on their way to building a successful start in technology and beyond.”
“Makerspaces are designed to challenge students to create and learn through hands-on, personalized experiences throughout elementary, middle and high school,” according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame website. “Makerspaces foster innovation through hands-on experimentation. Participants have the opportunity to be creative and apply personalized learning strategies to make changes to existing concepts or develop their own ideas, methods or products. Hands-on learning takes the concepts taught through lecture, video or textbooks and allows participants to move from an abstract concept to a real-world understanding. Participants are then able to practice creating solutions to real-world problems.”
Makerspaces are a good place for students to learn how to use failure as a learning experience and not become discouraged when something doesn’t go as expected.
“Makerspaces provide the opportunity to learn something new, whether it is an alternate way to approach learning or utilizing new tools and resources to reach a solution,” the National Inventors Hall of Fame website states. “The ability to think critically and effectively problem solve should be established at a young age and cultivated over time. These skills are fundamental to and enhanced by the learning experiences in a makerspace.”
You don’t have to convince Dr. Richards or the kids at Washington Primary School of the value of their makerspace, which is housed in the library, but extends into every classroom. They are experiencing it for themselves.