GRACE is part of a national movement to empower students as makers. While the technology students may use in a Makerspace is new, making is not. Humans have been making and fixing things since creation, but those skills can be lost today in an “it’s cheaper to buy a replacement than fix it” culture. The Maker Movement is getting back to fixing and creating instead of just consuming. In fact, this happened at GRACE already. When a discontinued cabinet piece broke, a student 3D-printed a new one that works perfectly.
Making can be high-tech, such as 3D printing, or low-tech, such as building with cardboard. Making is about helping students become inventors and problem-solvers, both in the classroom and out of it. We want GRACE students to have practice being innovative and resilient, so when problems happen our students can work to solve the issue.
To help the Maker culture at GRACE, each campus has designated resources for making. On the TK-6th grade campus, there are two Maker Carts with tools for both high-tech and low-tech making. From robotics to foam noodles, these carts are ready to help deepen students’ learning by encouraging hands-on learning. 6th grade students can also join an after school Tech Club which includes making activities.
On the 7th-12th grade campus, the Media Center has a Makerspace. The 3D printer is a big part of the Makerspace, but so are non-tech things like duct tape and plastic tubing. There is also an afterschool Maker Club, where students gather together to learn from experts in various making fields and, of course, make!