Effective Student Engagement

One of my weekly opportunities is to run our school’s Makerspace program. This program provides all students with an opportunity to apply their learning, become creative in new ways, solve a variety of problems, and work with others. Students look forward to this program every week and they are frequently asking what they will get to do when they come to their Makerspace time. At a surface level, it is great to see that students want to ‘get their hands dirty’ and make something new. Some students require little direction, whereas others require a very specific outline of what they need to accomplish. But, the common theme is that they all want to try something new.

One of our larger goals with this program is to demonstrate to our teachers and students a variety of ways that students can take what they have been learning, and apply it to something completely different. They could be learning about the culture of a group in a different country, but using what they have been learning in Makerspace, they could be building tools out of cardboard that could have helped this different culture group with a struggle that they were having. This is about helping students learn to ‘think outside the box’ for ways to demonstrate their knowledge. I am excited that this is a weekly opportunity, as it continues to challenge me on coming up with new and innovative ways to challenge all students.

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