The Dial

Makerspace Encourages Creative Spark

Hackley+Teachers+are+currently+going+through+Professional+Development+courses+before+the+space+opens+where+they+learn+to+use+the+materials+and+tools+in+hopes+of+incorporating+them+into+their+curriculum.
Hackley Teachers are currently going through Professional Development courses before the space opens where they learn to use the materials and tools in hopes of incorporating them into their curriculum.

Hackley Teachers are currently going through Professional Development courses before the space opens where they learn to use the materials and tools in hopes of incorporating them into their curriculum.

Photo credit: Lauren Ahern

Photo credit: Lauren Ahern

Hackley Teachers are currently going through Professional Development courses before the space opens where they learn to use the materials and tools in hopes of incorporating them into their curriculum.

By Lauren Ahern, Assistant Feature Editor

Walking into the new Makerspace, it’s hard not to be inspired by the lego and cardboard covered tables and turquoise walls covered in doodles and messages. With different materials and machines available for the creative drive of students and teachers alike, the Makerspace was created in hopes of facilitating innovations from the Hackley community of all kinds.

Erich Tusch, Director of Instructional Technology and one of the leaders in creating the Makerspace, explains his hopes for the room being a vessel to “promote problem solving” and “design thinking.” The Makerspace promotes the use of all of the skills students have developed to create their ideas and designs.

Tusch backs this saying, “To develop solutions to the problems presented, one needs to call on more than simply just math skills, or just writings skills, or just design skills. All that becomes a part of the experience.”

In line with these ideas, The Makerspace is not only an engineering space, but is a space for all subjects including the liberal arts such as English and History. The goal is for teachers across the school and in all subjects to recognize the advantages the Makerspace gives as a space for hands-on learning, and what those advantages can promote for students’ understanding on their topics.

For little kids, I was surprised how many had never held a saw or a hammer. You’re all going to have an apartment sometime, you’re all going to need to know how to hang draperies. Knowing how to use this stuff is important.”

— Eric Tusch

Tusch gave examples for humanitarian subjects using the space like history classes building  replicas of different tools or buildings to get a real experience and connect more strongly to the time period, as well as english classes creating costumes and masks while studying plays.

The Makerspace is a school-wide resource with amenities such as tables that change heights, lowering for the lower schoolers and raising for the upper schoolers. For the Upper School, an elective will be offered next year as well as availability for teachers to enhance different topics through the space. In the Middle School, many teachers are already planning on making use of the new space, but the Makerspace will be open during their lunch period and after school study halls. The Lower School made a smaller traveling set of equipment in their building for their use.

The space also promotes the learning of skills outside of what is commonly seen as the conventional school education. Tusch believes problem solving will prepare kids for jobs in the real world.

“Very seldom you get a job in the worlds where it is one skill… most jobs require skill from what in high school would be several different classes.,” said Tusch.“We’re trying to create that type of experience here, where it crosses over these curriculums and over these ages.”

Along with preparing students for jobs, Tusch believes the experience with different tools will  prepare kids for real life tasks. He mentioned when the Lower Schoolers first tested out the room, saying, “For little kids, I was surprised how many had never held a saw or a hammer. You’re all going to have an apartment sometime, you’re all going to need to know how to hang draperies. Knowing how to use this stuff is important.”

Tusch views this new Makerspace as a first step for Hackley. “We built this space as a version one, we’re considering this an iterative space, one that will build and grow overtime based on the needs of the school.”

The new Makerspace is a fantastic opportunity for the Hackley Community to construct and invent, and discover new talents and passions to grow and achieve.

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