St. John School opens up brand new MakerSpace

St. John School opens up brand new MakerSpace
Posted on 02/20/2019
St. John School opens up brand new MakerSpace

Students have a brand new space to get creative in at St. John School. The school has just opened up their MakerSpace, an area where STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focused materials, games and learning is being explored.

"It used to be the Grade 7/8 classroom so we decided to switch it over to our MakerSpace," said Shaun Dufresne, the Innovative Technology Teacher at St. John School. "The new furniture arrived in November and since then we've been stocking the room with different materials and technology."

The Kenora Catholic District School Board has almost completed the process of turning all Elementary School libraries into Learning Commons that have a dedicated MakerSpace. The aim is to teach children at a young age how to use technology appropriately through fun experiences that get more complicated as the children get older.

A student lights up a bulbFor Kindergarten and Grade 1 we have robots and you clip them together and give them instructions for how they're going to move. As they get older we work with iPads and Osmo, a program where they input different coding to move Osmo around," said Dufrense.

Grade 5 student Sarah Lee Gosselin said she enjoys having the new space as well as all the new technology.

"It's really fun. I like working down there and learning different coding stuff, we don't get to learn that so I like that we get to learn new stuff downstairs in the MakerSpace," she said.

Teachers will be encouraged to bring the new learning into their classroom by planning certain lessons that use technology and coding and it isn't limited to a math lesson.

"We'll come up with an idea of what curriculum they want to cover and how they can use in the MakerSpace," said Dufrense. "For example, we use a lot of science, cells, make for a great lesson that can be taught in Virtual Reality. Students can actually see up close what they're studying."

Although the space is still in its infancy, Gosselin said the students are enjoying exploring everything it has to offer and look forward to classroom trips to the MakerSpace.

A robot lights up on its path

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