HSMS Makerspace Journey

The WHY, HOW, WHERE and WHEN of HSMS Tigers Makerspace

Bringing this Makerspace to South Middle School would not have happened without the coaching and support from Laura Fleming, who is a media specialist at New Milford High School. This idea of a Makerspace did not come from Laura Fleming, but she has done it at all levels of education in some capacity, and so we felt she was going to be our best sounding board of what works and what doesn’t work. She gave up a lot of her own time to connect via twitter and google hangouts to help us through the entire process.

First, we started out by looking at the “WHY.”

John Klosowski says, “The library should be one of the most exciting places in the school: the hub of learning, reading, research, discussion and collaboration.” We believed the centre of our school should be the library. We wanted to do something in our library that would draw the students into this space not only to check out books, but to be a place that they can create, research, and develop.

Laura Fleming told us from the start that we could do this on a small budget, and truly we have done that. This entire project cost around $500. We started simple and will continue to add different things to our ImagineNation Station area for students to create, develop, and research.

Next, let’s now look at the “HOW.”

We got a lot of our products from MakerShed, which was recommended to us by Laura Fleming during our planning period. We started with the following five items to start our Makerspace:

  • Makey Makey (2 kits)
  • Little Bits (2 kits)
  • Snap Circuits
  • Mindstorm Robots – donated to use from our Robotics Club
  • Take Apart station

Finally, let’s now look at the “WHEN/WHERE.”

In our library, we have an open corner that we have designated as our Makerspace area. Students can be in that area during the following times:

7:30-8:00 am- Open to all students

During school: during directed study time (study halls as long as they have all their work done.)

3:00-3:30 pm – Open to all students

This space is not only for the times listed above, but classes can come into the Makerspace as well. Below you will see that a science class came in and learned about input/output while creating circuits with our Squishy Circuits.

Every 3-4 weeks we will be updating and changing one station out and adding new ones.

One way we are gathering interest is through teaser videos for the students to watch and see what new stations are coming to our space. We created a teaser video for the students to see before us rolling this entire space out. Each time a new station comes to our makerspace, we will make a short teaser that they can watch that will get them excited to come to our Makerspace at HSMS Tigers.

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