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Making Time For Making

by Mary Jo Madda


Article excerpt

Albemarle County Schools’ Journey From a Makerspace to a Maker District

For the last year, Albemarle has been running an experiment with 117 kids from all grade levels mixed together in a giant, one-room learning space (pictured above). There’s a gentle hum of activity, with students around the space learning and tinkering both in groups and separately—something that the students seem to love.

Our take

Give Them Time, Tools, and a Place to Make!

What can students make in makerspaces? Anything. That’s what one school district is discovering as it experiments with making making a part of every grade level and every discipline. There’s a strong focus on student choice, and collaboration. Should you be creating more opportunities for making in your classrooms?

Making things has been a part of education for ages and, while today’s maker space discussions tend to focus on technology, the value of creating these experiences extends to a variety of applications. Give students the tools—from computers to hammers to paintbrushes—the time, and the space and simply let them create. Importantly, let them create things of their own choosing, in collaboration with other students; that’s the kind of independent exploration that can lead to valuable insights.