This year, Ascension offered a class called MakerSpace for Juniors and Seniors that takes place in our new iLab. The iLab has always been a strong aspiration of Mrs. Delcambre and Mr. Carlson’s, and this year, that dream became a reality.
A regular day of MakerSpace involves hardcore critical thinking, teamwork, and lots of reflection. Students started the first semester by doing a project that helps them become an “Expert” on each of the four stations: textile, digital design, electrical, and the 3D station. Each station includes a major piece of equipment to master. For example, when working in the textile station, students learned how to work the sewing machine, digital design focused heavily on fixing the drone, students in Electrical discovered how to build and program the robots, and while working in the 3D station, students learned how to use the 3D pen and the 3D printer.
Another project that was completed was a “Solve Your Own Problem” project. Students were required to think of a simple everyday problem that could be solved by creating something using one or more of the four stations. For example, Hali Landry had a continuous problem of burning her toast every morning. She did a lot of observations and discovered that a major reason why her toast kept burning was because she was in such a rush to get out of the house in the morning, so while it was in the toaster, she would walk away and do something else. She decided that a simple solution to the problem was to make a toaster that you could set to play music for however long you needed your toast to cook, instead of a toaster that just has “light, medium, and dark” options.
The final project that first semester students executed was their “Passion Project”. Teachers Mrs. Delcambre and Mrs. Sellers loosened the reigns a whole lot during this final project. Students had to think of something that they were passionate about creating, learning, or planning. Hallye Leleux, for example, is very passionate about fitness and mental health awareness, so she planned a 5K to take place in Youngsville to raise awareness for mental health. Some other students learned a different language, such as Chris Granger who learned Finnish and Grace Hill who learned American Sign Language. Although the Passion Project was challenging and tested many students’ patience, ending the semester working on something they loved was a great, eye-opening experience.
All in all, the debut semester of MakerSpace was extremely successful. Although it had its ups and downs, as any new class would, MakerSpace taught many students teamwork skills and patience, and, most importantly, it taught students to use their creativity to solve realistic, everyday problems.