Golden Apple: Northern Elementary Inspires Creativity With Makerspace Classroom
If you take a look inside Northern Elementary School’s new makerspace classroom, you’ll find everything from building blocks and gears to rulers and toothpicks. The makerspace classroom is designed to be a flexible and adaptable learning environment where students can create. It’s available to every teacher in the school.
“This classroom has been an awesome edition to our school. We get to bring our kids down and there is a shelf full of materials we can use and we also have the everyday materials – the paper, the glue, paper towel tubes, cotton balls, Q-tips. You name it,” says Kara Foehrenbacher, a 2nd grade teacher at Northern Elementary School.
The kids are allowed to take risks and try new things in the makerspace classroom. Their creativity is unlimited. In this lesson, second graders had to make a shelter that could withstand a windstorm. They had a limited option of supplies for their shelter, and at the end, their shelter was put to the test.
Anthony, a 2nd grader says about his group’s shelter, “It holded [sic] well because of the cardboard and we put a bunch of tape on there, so it works.”
Gracie, another 2nd grader, says about her group’s shelter, “We put holes in it so when [our teacher] used her blow dryer, the wind it would go through the holes.”
What you see today is only the beginning of the makerspace classroom at Northern. Over the next year, the staff hopes to keep collecting material and growing resources until it is the ultimate creativity zone.
“It really allows us to let our children be creative and use their imagination and just kind of create things that we normally don’t do in the classroom. We can also tie it to stories that we’re working on or something from our science or social studies curriculum,” says Foerenbacher.
The kids are learning through play, and in a lot of the lesson plans, they are also learning to work together.
When asked what he learned from working in the makerspace classroom, 2nd grader Connor says, “That groups are supposed to be fun.”
Having a designated area just for making things has been a hit, not only with the teacher, but with the students as well. Some say their favorite part is just sitting down and starting to build.
“Just working, or just making stuff,” says Anthony.