I am the library teacher in a high-needs urban district. Many of my students come from single-parent homes and some are refugees from other countries.
Regardless of their home circumstances, my students love to come to school and they are always excited about learning!
Their enthusiasm and motivation to learn make me want to be a better teacher and to make learning fun for them.
Unfortunately, most of my students have very limited access to any form of enrichment activities. Whenever I can, I try to expose them to new things and broaden their horizons.
As the world around us is constantly changing, specifically in regards to technology, our school is working on developing ways our students can access more high tech tools. In collaboration with our Art teacher, I have been trying to incorporate makerspace and STEM components into activities and projects for our students.
In our Makerspace club, we try to give students the opportunity to have hands-on engineering and design experience with projects that directly relate to the content they are learning.
A huge part of makerspace with STEM elements is having the materials, both low and high tech, for students to use to make projects. We have a silhouette cutting machine, which the students use to design projects. One of the favorite activities at our STEM Club has been to cut vinyl to personalize items. It is very challenging, however, to get the vinyl to adhere to their items and last with an iron.
Access to a heat press will give our students the experience of working with high tech tools, which will develop their 21st-century skills, and give them a much better outcome when they design files to be cut from vinyl. How excited will our students be to design, create, and make their own unique individual projects that look professional and show off their skills?
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