NDA students have “Makerspace” Class – What does that mean?

Students in Kindergarten through 5th grade participate in a Makerspace class. The K-2 students have Ms. O’Connor, and Mrs. Segar works with the 3rd – 5th graders. Our Makerspace rooms are stocked with a variety of craft supplies, building toys, and learning activities that provide a variety of engaging experiences. In Makerspace, students have opportunities to engage in STEM challenges, have open-ended time to build, create, and problem solve with a variety of materials, or they may do some exploring with circuits and coding with robots. 

Some of the popular choices are building with Legos, straws and connectors, making plastic 3D designs with our new 3Doodler pens, creating contraptions with Keva planks, and setting up domino courses to knock over. On the crafty side, students enjoy making bracelets, designing stained glass pictures, creating items with pipe cleaners, cardboard, paper, & tape. They also like using Snap Circuits to conduct electrical experiments. Ipads are used to program Dash and Sphero robots to move around the room.

Students use the engineering design process to complete challenges. Last year several 4th and 5th graders entered a contest where groups had to design a device that could pick up a ping pong ball from the farthest distance using only paper, masking tape, and paperclips. Other fun challenges have included building a basket that could move across a zipline the fastest, making a device to help Santa launch presents into his sleigh, and making replicas of famous buildings. 

We are very thankful for all of the items that we can access. CSCOE and University of St. Thomas curated a lending library that delivers STEM materials to our school. So far we’ve enjoyed getting the boxes of Keva planks and class sets of Dash robots. We are looking forward to trying out some virtual reality viewers and Zometool kits in the near future. This year we were fortunate to receive some federal funding to enhance our Makerspace classrooms with a variety of STEM toys and building materials. Some of the items we purchased with that money include a set of 6 3Doodler pens, Makey Makey, and numerous building toys.

Makerspace is a great opportunity for our students to try new things, explore their curiosities, and be creative!

Notre Dame Academy