Golden Apple: Makerspace Allows Students to Challenge and Explore Their Creativity
Virtual reality, 3D printing, and augmented reality typography are just a few of the things that fill Forestview Middle School’s Makerspace.
“My favorite station is probably the GoPro or the pens. I like the GoPro because you can move around the library and it’s like a scavenger hunt,” said Forestview Middle School fifth grader Randyn.
The Makerspace is a new addition to the middle school this year.
“We had an extra space where we used to have a computer lab and we have a planetarium upstairs, and we had people coming in from outside the district and the planetarium director wanted to have a separate space,” explained Chris Kelly, Forestview Middle School Media Specialist.
The Makerspace lets the students learn and create on their own with adults stepping in only when they need help.
“A lot of it is learn on your own. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, you try to figure it out. If you can’t figure it out we’ll help you, but I like the thinking harder about things and trying to come up with answers,” added Kelly.
There are a variety of activities available, centering around STEM and the arts.
“3D printing is really big. 3D pens are huge. We’ve got a green screen where they can create little plays and things like that. They can create a computer. They can work with circuits,” said Kelly. “Just a wide variety of art, tech, and video.”
One of the favorite activities in the Makerspace is called a virtual reality sandbox where students are able to move the sand to create different typography.
“It’s fun to make mountains and valleys and rivers and lakes,” said fifth grader Preston.
The Makerspace offers the students a unique opportunity to explore what interests them.
“When I was growing up I got to experiment and do things, and I think that had a big impact on me. So this kind of fits what I knew of education, and I love seeing kids just pop out of the what do you want me to do into what do I want to do,” said Kelly.
Along with being educational the Makerspace is fun and has been a huge hit with the students.
“It’s just been so fun. It’s kind of stepping out of my usual position just kind of letting them go and it’s amazing how they just pick it up and run with it. Sometimes I’ll walk behind them and say ‘do you need help?’ and ‘no we’re fine, we’re fine,’ so it’s really been fun to see them take it on their own,” said Kelly.
The school hopes to keep building on to the Makerspace and adding more stations in the future.
Any classes in the area are welcome to use the Makerspace. Contact the media center at Forestview Middle School for more information.