Make Plans to Attend the Aldine ISD Library Services’ FREE MakerSpace Mania 2017 Event Set for April 8
MakeSpace programming focuses on encouraging children to tinker, learn, create, design and use real tools.
Do you or your child like to make things? Do you like having fun? If you do, attend Aldine ISD’s free MakerSpace Mania event set for Sat., April 8 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Aldine Education Center.
The District’s Library Services Department is hosting the family event at the center located at 1702 Aldine Bender Rd. (Houston 77032). The building is next door to Child Nutrition Services and across the street from the M.O. Campbell Educational Center.
Library Services invites students, parents and staff to attend. A total of 28 AISD schools and libraries will have booths set up for demonstrations as well as make and take opportunities.
- Making straw rockets
- Making Felt tissue holders
- Paper crafting
- Making gem “buggles”
- And much more!
Local entities will also be present to share the fabulous programming they provide for Aldine students and families.
Businesses & Community Organizations Taking Part
- Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center
- Follett School Solutions
- Maker Maven
- Harris County Public Library-High Meadows Branch
- Harris County Public Library-Aldine Branch
Incentive for Teachers to Attend
Teachers will be able to receive Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credit for the time attended. To ensure CPE credit is given, educators should check in and inform the volunteers at the registration table that they are teachers.
We Learn From Making … MakerSpace learning inspires curiosity and creativity in students, which drives them to experiment, innovate and ultimately, learn quite a bit. MakerSpace learning in schools appeals equally to students across all academic achievement levels.
Inviting Kids to Learn While They Play
The MakerSpace fusion has been in place in Montessori schools. Maria Montessori’s core beliefs challenged society’s norms for educating young children. She believed that educators must not impose on or force-feed their students. Montessori discovered that children learn from their environment and by doing. She recognized the need for individual learning.
She also noticed how tactile and curious young children are. They are curious about how things work. Montessori decided to work with students’ absorbent minds and attraction to hands-on learning. In doing so, she observed how children reinforce their skills through teaching others.
Montessori observed that environment is extremely important and worked to create specific materials and learning centers to facilitate active engagement and experimentation. Although her methods are over a century old, they have recently resurfaced in wider educational circles, particularly among educators.
Librarians have embraced the idea of “learning by doing.” Today’s librarians act as guides to students. They facilitate inquiry and discovery beyond direct teaching. The approach focuses on the positive aspects of students’ curiosity, artistry and enthusiasm. In the MakerSpace setting, librarians promote students taking ownership of their own learning.
The MakerSpace Movement
The MakerSpace has its own special evolution in libraries. As far back as the 1870s, women’s groups formed and met in libraries to quilt, knit and socialize. The current MakerSpace movement combines no tech to low- and high-tech tools. This could include knitting to 3D printers and circuitry. MakerSpaces evolved from an arts and crafts center to one that embraces both science and art.
MakerSpaces in School Libraries
Cindy Buchanan finds the movement exciting for all involved. Buchanan is the program director library services. She works with campus information literacy specialists (aka librarians). Buchanan shared that MakerSpace activities can include arts and crafts and Legos. They can include repurposing recycled materials, robotics kits and 3D printers. MakerSpaces in the District continue to expand into all kinds of activities.
“Librarians don’t have to know all the answers,” said Buchanan. “We have to know where and how to find the answers. Librarians act as facilitators and guides. We encourage students to pursue knowledge. They do this through independent research, collaborating with others and asking questions.
“The best tool is when students ask if they can create something. We say, ‘Yes, try it and see what happens.’ As they create, learning is happening. It encourages student growth whether that be motor skills or solving design thinking challenges.”
Elizabeth Hensley also lauded the impact MakerSpaces have in helping students learn. Hensley is a library systems manager and an ILS at the Aldine Education Center.
“We invite kids to learn new skills,” said Hensley. “They can apply concepts they are learning across a wide range of content areas. They are incorporating art, literacy and numeracy. MakerSpaces are places for students to give function and purpose to their ideas. That all evolves from the exploration process. It empowers students.”
Buchanan and Hensley are not alone in believing that maker-centered learning empowers students. According to a report, maker-centered learning helps young people connect the dots or find meaning. Students feel that they can build and shape their worlds. Maker-centered learning focuses on deep and prolonged experiences of learning through making.
MakerSpaces are helping develop creative thinkers, tinkerers and entrepreneurs.
MakerSpaces open students to new ideas, approaches, concepts and experiences. This leads to new knowledge, perspectives and experiences. The MakerSpace model has students think, make and improve a design model. It encourages flexibility, collaboration and reflection.
In a MakerSpace environment, students guide the learning. The MakerSpace facilitator teaches new skill sets and encourages students to build on what they know. In other words, the facilitator challenges the students to see what they can create. When students feel “stuck” in their process, they can step back. They consider (reflect) the design model and regroup their efforts. This simple process helps students work through each stage of the process.
As kids work through the process, they gain understanding of how things work or ways that they could improve the functionality of a device. They develop creative thinking skills (i.e. think outside the box). They learn to work independently and collaboratively. They also gain confidence in becoming a maker. And tomorrow they may become prototype developers, artists, designers, engineers, or entrepreneurs. Or someday they will become someone with a very serious hobby for making and tinkering!
For more information about MakerSpace Mania, contact Elizabeth Hensley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Maker Movement! See What’s Happening in Aldine ISD’s Libraries’ MakerSpaces!