I pulled Mr Josey aside one day, and said, ‘I’ve got this crazy idea, why don’t we turn these rooms into something new and exciting where people can come together to learn how to use new emerging technologies and materials. We should be getting the kids to create, design, invent and prototype ideas and solutions to problems. I want to build a makerspace.'
He did a bit of chin rubbing and looked contemplative and said something like, ‘hmmm, sounds interesting, why don’t you go for it.’
Then, coincidently, an opportunity presented itself. The Dream Factory which is a team working within the department to help schools move forward with digital pedagogy announced they were going to conduct a makerspace trial in Queensland schools. We were 1 of 12 primary schools within in our region to submit an EOI, and were successful in progressing to the next round, where we were up against 5 other schools in our region. We were thrilled when our submission earned us the spot on the trial from our region. Winning!
The dream factory sent us a bunch of goodies, including a 3D printer, some Littlebits, MaKey MaKey, goldie blox engineering kits, an OZMO and 15 Intel Genuino computing boards. These now belong to our school.
We also went ahead and did some purchasing, and bought a LittleBits workshop set, 15 Dash and Dot Robots, 3Doodler pens, and iPad minis to go towards running a successful makerspace.
This is really exciting, it's kind of a big deal. We have a unique opportunity to position Benowa State School as a leader in STEAM education. We need to fully embrace this opportunity for our school, community, our students and their futures.
I present you with a quote that comes straight from the department –
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is an identified priority in Advancing education: an action plan for education in Queensland. STEM subjects provide students with essential skills for an increasingly digitised future.
How does this relate to what I am trying to achieve?
STEAM education, making and design thinking are vital to student success in the 21st century. Allowing children to make, innovate and create is a powerful expression of intellect. Making is human nature, it is what we do, and have been doing it for thousands of years.
If you can dream it, you can make it.
Let's get making!