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Makerspace Library Making Hands-On Learning a Hit

High school students are embracing a creative take on learning, thanks to the new Makerspace library now available to all students and teachers in the building.

Makerspace is an interactive workshop to which all high school classrooms have access, much like a regular library. Whenever they see fit, teachers can sign out a class period for their students to visit the Makerspace library as a supplement to traditional lessons in a classroom setting.

Whether English classes are using computer software and large format printing to design a book cover for a novel they’re reading, or biology classes are learning how to create stop-animation to study mitosis, Makerspace is equipped with the necessary tools and materials to help students learn in hands-on, creative ways.

While this is the first year that the district has implemented Makerspace, Ron Zanella, who runs the workshop, has already seen a positive impact on student learning and engagement. Students are able to use a free period in the middle of the school day to get help from teachers if needed, and getting work done in Makerspace during this period is a big hit with the kids.

“The biggest thing I’ve seen,” says, Zanella, “is that I usually see between 20 and 40 kids who come in on their own every day to work on their projects.”

While high school principal Dr. John Boylan has asked each teacher to schedule Makerspace at least once to try it out, Zanella has already had multiple teachers book the workshop three or four times this year. “When the kids are in here,” Zanella says, “they are on task 95 percent of the time. It’s amazing.”

As a result of the positive feedback at the high school level, the district is currently in the planning phases of implementing Makerspace into the middle school as well.

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