New to the site? Try Quick User Guide

We use technology from the Learning Commons to track anonymous visitor behavior on our website to ensure you have a great experience. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Opt In/Out.

Makerspaces

Large classrooms with resources to support students’ project-based learning

Context

Makerspace is a daily class taken by each student at Locust Grove. The class was created in conjunction with house projects to help make learning more relevant for students and help them better understand the possible future career pathways in high school and beyond. Previously, Locust Grove provided classes focused on areas of professional interest related to career pathways, such as engineering, coding, design, and culinary arts. These popular classes were structured as electives, but often would fill up and many students were not able to select their top choice. In hopes of improving student choice and agency, Locust Grove decided to flip this approach by allowing all students to pursue their top choice and designing the makerspace class to support these choices.

Students meet in their makerspace class for approximately 45 minutes a day to work on their house projects. Makerspace teachers design driving questions for projects, which are intentionally broad so students can select from a wide array of projects to answer the driving questions (or create their own).

The broad driving question within each house is as follows:

  • Community and Commerce: How can we, as the Community and Commerce House, positively articulate and demonstrate how conflict can lead to change?
  • Center Stage: How can I use my strengths to impact the world in a positive way through a storytelling experience?
  • Cultivating Wellness: How can we improve the quality of life for people living in our community and around the world?
  • House of Design: How can we, as designers, develop a product to improve our community?

The project work is student-driven, and the teacher’s role is to monitor progress and provide support as needed. The classroom is a large, open space created by cutting a hole between two classes. It contains a multitude of unique learning resources (3D printer, grow lights, etc.) that students can use to fulfill their project requirements.

Student Does

  • Selects project, or creates their own, based on interest.
  • Chooses who they want to work with on their project, based on similar interests, or works individually.
  • Collaborates on their project with their group (if applicable).
  • Manages their project, including creating a justification for why it is important and how it relates to content areas, a timeline, and a presentation to an authentic audience.
  • Learns 21st-century skills by applying technology tools to help complete and present their project.

Teacher Does

  • Designs driving questions, objectives, tasks, and pathways for different house projects, relating them back to content areas.
  • Meets with students at least once a week, helping them plan projects and stay on track to complete them.
  • Communicates with students throughout the week as needed.
  • Grades projects on 21st-century skills and any content areas the project is tied to.

Technology Does

  • Serves as a tool to complete projects (virtual reality, 3D printing, video recording and editing, etc.).
  • Helps students practice 21st-century skills.
  • Helps students and teachers communicate throughout the week via email and Google classroom.