The library serves the needs of over 1,040 students and over 80 faculty members. Three quarters of our students qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch, and many of them don't come to the library regularly. This project is an opportunity to improve the school experience for hundreds of low-income, urban students.
Some of our students read below grade level, and we are looking for innovative ways to get students interested in reading and exploration in addition to building trust between students and teachers and administators.
The library staff and school administration want to increase the number of students who frequent the library as well as improve circulation statistics. We can do both by getting students interested makerspaces and promoting books that go along with the makerspaces!
We want to build a community of makers--teachers and students exploring and creating alongside one another--in the library. The Silhouette Cameo 3 will be the first of many makerspaces in our library. This machine will allow us to choose from a wide variety of materials (vinyl, card stock, paper, fabric, etc.) to use for various projects (STEM-based as well as arts and crafts).
The purpose of this project is to challenge teachers and students to use their creativity and problem solving skills to explore possibilities that wouldn't exist without access to a machine like this.
After giving an introduction to the Silouette Cameo 3, I will work with teachers and students in all subjects to come up with ways the machine can help expand the learning experience. For example, instead of just giving an oral report, a student could use it to create 3D replicas of artifacts for research projects. Or students can use it to make custom t-shirts for extracurricular groups like the debate team, book club, manga club, and many more. From time to time, I will come up with a theme for students to try with the machine, such as creating a replica of a famous landmark. Then I would set out books of famous places for students to read for inspiration on what to make.
With this project, students will develop their communication skills, learn how to work as a team, and have an opportunity to hang out with teachers in a stress-free environment and take on new technology, while the library promotes the importance of literacy and lifelong learning.
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