This year I have the amazing opportunity to teach STEM to all the kindergarten through fifth grade students, about 425 of them! We meet once per week to work on STEM projects that address their grade level standards and try to solve real world problems. My classes have a wide range of student abilities, which include gifted, ESOL, autistic, special needs and general education students. These students have grown up together and have developed a great sense compassion towards one another.
We are part of a diverse community that takes pride in their school and provides support to their students and teachers.
Our small neighborhood school is composed of a mix of apartments, condominiums, older homes and new housing. One of our strongest assets is our extensive STEM Program
Thirty percent of our students are on free or reduced price lunch. Our population is made up approximately 45% white, 31% Hispanic and 14% African American.
I want to create a Makerspace area in my STEM classroom for students so they can explore, learn and collaborate using various hand tools. The space will allow students to create something out of nothing. All my students are currently learning how to use tools such as coping saws, hand drills, screwdrivers, glue guns, soldering irons, tin snips, electric drills, etc. for building and solving STEM Challenges. They come to my room excited and ready to learn and create. They have become much more independent and creative with their newly learned skills. More possibilities are open to them when they have a variety of tools to use.
This Makerspace will allow for risk-taking, problem solving and tinkering which allow my students' imaginations to take flight!
However, we need a space to set up and organize our tools and materials so my students have a set place for tinkering, open-ended exploration and building. We need a workbench where tools are set up and ready for use. Students can work in one area with all the tools within reach. The pegboard and storage containers will allow me to store tools and materials in the Makerspace area.
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