Our goal is to bring hands-on learning through making to our 600 students and inspire the next generation of creators and innovators. We want to design interdisciplinary units that show the connections between the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, math) and the humanities by exploring new ways of teaching common topic areas. Imagine a unit on the Industrial Revolution in which students are engaged in hands-on explorations of inventions that changed our world.
Traditional classrooms and teaching strategies do not always allow for this type of learning. We need a space that makes group work easier and the tools, materials, and equipment that allow our teachers and students to tinker and build with woodworking, textiles, media, and other mediums.
As a suburban school our students do not have ready access to organizations and places that provide these opportunities. We need your help to bridge this gap.
An unused classroom is sitting empty at our school waiting to be transformed into our makerspace. We will create collaborative work areas with flexible tables and seating to better accommodate group projects. We will install a workbench in one corner and supply it with new woodworking equipment and materials while another area will be dedicated to textiles and yet another area to media making. Improving our storage capacity is also key and requires new bins, shelving, and display boards. These additions will transform the empty classroom into a dynamic center of making and learning.
Our teachers are excited to bring our makerspace to life. We formed a special committee that will work together to design new curriculum and work with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh who has studied making as a learning practice for five years. The Children’s Museum will help us complete the design of the space as well as lead professional development workshops throughout the year.
If funded we will immediately begin outfitting the makerspace, scheduling professional development sessions, and implementing new units and projects. We aim to have the space completed by January 2016 with several learning experiences in process or development. We will provide ongoing updates and photos to all backers as we move forward with the project.
Kiski Area Upper Elementary is a suburban school located approximately 30 miles outside Pittsburgh. It serves students in fifth and sixth grade and was opened in 2013.
Pledge to support us on this journey and share this project with your friends and family. Your contribution and support is essential in providing exciting new learning opportunities for our kids.
Risks and challenges
We recognize our timeline is aggressive and we may encounter challenges as we prepare the space and implement the projects. We are already considering how to sustain the space, professional development, and curriculum design into the future. We are committed to effectively integrating making at our school and know we can overcome any challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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