Monday, October 5, 2015

Ready or not, here we come!

By Mrs. Pearce

Are we ready to open the doors of our new makerspace? No way! Will we ever be ready? Probably not. It’s kind of like removing a band-aid. Just rip it off fast—it will only sting for a minute.
So, let me back up for a moment and explain. We are turning the back room of our library, which used to be a group study area, into a makerspace. Thanks to a Chris Nelson grant from NHSTE and some funds we were able to scrape together from the library budget at the end of last year, we have a 3D printer, Little Bits, a green screen and a BOE-Bot. There’s a bin of legos, some craft supplies, and soon a sewing machine or two.

The space is being run mostly by students who are enrolled in our new Advanced IT Services class. The class (loosely known as “Help Desk”) is an independent study supervised by our computer teacher Pam Carr. Students in the class are learning how to use the makerspace technology, creating tutorials to share with others, and running workshops for students and staff on a variety of topics. It was hard getting the word out initially, so we only had two students signed up at the start of the year, but word is spreading and we now have a staff of five students. National Honor Society volunteers are filling some periods, and the library staff will keep an eye on things during after school hours.

Last week was supposed to be our “soft opening,” but our staffing was a bit thin, and the kids were still a bit bewildered as to what exactly they were supposed to be doing, so it wasn’t much of an opening. Today is the grand opening! And by that, we mean that we’re going to prop the door open. No balloons, nothing fancy. In fact, nothing grand about it. Except that I hear laughter. And beeping. And already kids are doing cool things that I never would have thought of. (and don’t totally understand)

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