Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

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This week students began sketching their ideas for our maker space design. From the sketches they will build a 3-D “DYER-rama”.  How did we get here?

Led by teachers Samantha Koetsier and Brynne Curran, librarian Megan Blakemore and principal Elizabeth Fowler, the fifth grade students are completing a project-based learning experience to learn about maker spaces and to see what will best meet the needs of our community. Our driving question is, “How can we, as engineers, plan and design a space that will support creativity and learning for students in grades K-5 at Dyer?

The project was launched via a video conference with Andrew Wallace, our district Director of Technology. He explained that we want to build a the first elementary level maker space in the district at Dyer. He challenged the students to design this space based on their knowledge of learning in Grades K-5.

Next, research began. Weekly shared readings were used to develop the students understanding of what is a maker space. Through several weeks of readings, students kept track of noticings, questions, and learning.

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Once students had a better sense of what a maker space is, they were able to move into more in-depth research. Librarian Meg Blakemore talked to the students about the different types of sources available to locate information, and the students decided to use a teacher survey, a student survey, and the Internet to find out more.

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With information in hand, they began their sketches of design for the fab lab space. Soon they will have the feedback from the surveys, which they will use to revise their plans, just like they use feedback to revise their writing. Once their designs are built, they will present them to Mr. Wallace, faculty, staff, and students. Each group will have at least one element of their design chosen as we embark on the exciting process of building the space.

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