What is a "makerspace"? Good question! A makerspace is an invention zone, a learning space and a creative environment. It's a place for students to get involved directly in their learning. They learn based on interest; they collaborate with peers; they test scientific and artistic principles first hand; they have a blast!
Gayle students are makers, and "Make It...Awesome!" is a program at Gayle to give students the opportunity to get creative and collaborative with technology and interesting materials. In short, to use their knowledge to make stuff, and by making, they are learning! GMS makers, have programmed Arduino micro-controllers, driven robotic Spheros, made digital and recycled musical instruments, learned rocketry, built gardens, web pages and lots more. This program is offered to students through drop in activities during the school day, an after-school program and a summer camp and during various I&E programs. We are happy to thank Dr. George Meadows at the University of Mary Washington, Fred Works Makerspace, Fredxcoders, Barnes and Noble, Lowe's of Stafford, Dr. Karen Duffy and SCPS Libraries, Google and Make Magazine for their sponsorship and support.
During the summers from 2015 - 2018, students at Gayle have enrolled in our "GMS Maker Camp". They learned about the design process, iteration and collaboration while building rockets, making music, 3D printing and learning Scratch programming. GMS Makers then went on to teach some of those skills to fifth grade students enrolled in our Jump Start program. To see more maker projects in action at the GMS Library find @SekingerN on Twitter.