"It's working!" can be heard from my students when their hard work produces a working prototype. Middle school can be a tough time where some students struggle to survive.
In our maker lab, our sixth, seventh, and eighth graders do more than survive, they thrive!
My students live in a community that is a beautiful vacation destination for tourists seeking mountain recreation. What most of our visitors don't know is that more than half of my students come from low-income households. Their parents work multiple jobs in the tourism sector to support their families. While millions come to visit annually, we are a rural school. My students don't have access to museums or makerspaces where they can interact with technology. That's why we have a Maker Lab in our middle school. With a STEAM curriculum that encourages individual curiosity, creativity, and personal expression, my students learn hands-on and high tech skills they can use to build their own custom creations. When students are interested in their projects, the learning becomes play. We will be hard at play in the maker lab this year!
My students need Sphero Bolt robots for advanced coding projects. They will roll through mazes, code interactive games, create visual animations, and communicate from one robot to another. These robots will also make their debut soon in math class where students can apply their understanding of geometry and patterns.
Coding is so fun that my students forget that they are learning their biggest lesson of the day.
My students also need one more Makey Makey. We have a class set, but my classes keep growing. We need one more Makey Makey so everyone has a chance to make custom controllers. The Makey Makeys also work with Scratch so that students can use custom inventions with their own programs.
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