Sunday, November 11, 2018

Maker Space at Exeter-Milligan

Beau Becker puts the finishing touches on his MakerSpace fall decoration.

For the past three years, Exeter-Milligan students have had the opportunity to stay after school once a month (at each campus) and create.

Second grade teacher Marla Weber and Media Specialist/Technology teacher Lisa Soukup teamed up to start the MakerSpace program at Exeter-Milligan to encourage “problem solving with school-aged students,’ the two explained.

“MakerSpace programs have become popular over the past several years.  Other schools may designate their program as STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) or by adding art they have a STEAM program.”

Exeter-Milligan’s program does include the art component. The program is free at both campuses and when it started, the students had the opportunity to make a multitude or projects and creations. Now, Weber and Soukup have three or four projects available for the students to choose from to streamline the process. 

This month a group of students built multi-tiered platforms to display pumpkins, while others created banners to thank veterans.  Other students painted pumpkins and gourds or created seasonal fall decorations with gourds and with additional supplies.

All elementary students are welcome to stay for the free program after their parents sign a permission slip. Most of the supplies have been donated by parent’s, other patrons and businesses.  Soukup and Weber noted that Exeter resident Elva McBride has been “a major contributor to our supplies.”

Besides the fun factor, which is obvious when you step inside the space, the two teachers have seen additional results.  “One of the greatest benefits we have seen by providing MakerSpace opportunities is teamwork. Over the years, the students have learned how much more can be accomplished when work is completed with a partner on a project. Many times the teams are composed of multi-aged groups. The older students gain leadership skills and younger students look up to the older students.”

The district has been a big supporter of the program providing a space for the program along with designated storage areas at both campuses.

Exeter-Milligan Superintendent Paul Sheffield commented, “When I was first approached about offering the program, my first thought was how are we going to do this? Lisa Soukup and Marla Weber have done a fabulous job getting everything arranged and I hope to continue offering it in the future.” 

“MakerSpace provides an opportunity for students to use their creative side as well as their problem solving skills.  It's neat watching the kids work together, design and build something.  AND the kids get to take home their projects.”

Soukup and Weber plan to continue the program and while they don’t have specific future plans they plan to keep their students’ interests in mind along with infusing changing technology into their formula.

Chezney Kanode (left) and Kaylie Schlueter work together choosing paint colors for their project.
Levi Jurgensen stands next to the patriotic banner he created at MakerSpace.
L-R Cohen Harre, Deacon Erdkamp and Titus Petersen begin to build their pumpkin stand.
Lisa Soukup helps some students with their projects.
L-R Titus Petersen,Deacon Erdkamp and Cohen Harre arrange pumpkins on the stand they built.
7 – L-R Titus Petersen, Deacon Erdkamp, Cohen Harre and Braxton Harre with their completed multi level pumpkin stand.

No comments: