MakerSpace at Exeter-Milligan
By Marla Weber, 2nd Grade Instructor and MakerSpace co-sponsor
At Exeter-Milligan K-6 students have an opportunity to participate in a monthly after-school program called MakerSpace. This 90-minute program has been designed to provide hands-on ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build, and problem-solve. Students generally choose from three to four suggested activities for that session. They may join efforts with a partner or work independently. Teachers act as facilitators, rather than share demonstrations or give instructions. Some projects include STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) activities, building with wood, doing beadwork or sewing. A popular activity includes the deconstruction station where outdated electronics may be taken apart and incorporated into a new project. Many of the items used in the MakerSpace program have been received from generous donors from our district.
While at MakerSpace, students engage in critical thinking, creative thinking, and collaborate with peers. They learn the importance of revising a project and persevering when a task becomes difficult. At MakerSpace students have the opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use a variety of tools and materials, and develop innovative projects. Each month students are provided new opportunities to attempt and learn that failure is an important part of learning. The goal at MakerSpace is for students to work together to learn, collaborate and share.