A+ News: Students use MakerSpace for new style of learning

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s about turning ideas into reality.

“It’s kind of like a fun way to show your thinking,” said 9-year-old Wesley Carter.

“The MakerSpace makes your creation yours with a little touch of it’s magic,” said 9-year-old Savannah Lawrence.

The MakerSpace cart is full of recycled milk and egg cartons, cardboard and more.

“They use the MakerSpace and those recycled materials to create all types of things. It could be objects, it could be abstract art presentations. It’s just another way for them to show competency and mastery in different subjects,” said Kristie Cichello, library technology educator at Chipeta Elementary School.

Teachers at Chipeta Elementary say it inspires students to learn independently and with a team.

“If you were doing a spider and you wanted to show the hair on the legs, you’d probably want to do pipe cleaners ’cause they’re fuzzy,” Carter said.

“But it’s also learning and it’s for a good cause. And instead of just littering, you’re recycling. When you finish the projects, every once in a while you’ll take them home, but usually you’ll recycle them, and take them apart, and put them back where they belong in the MakerSpace cart,” said 10-year-old Ben Knapton.

The MakerSpace was brought into Chipeta Elementary School two years ago in an effort to bring a more personalized way of learning.

“This allows creative freedom. They can work together, students work on their own. Sometimes a teacher will send a couple of them down rather than take the whole cart. So, they can represent their knowledge in a way other than paper and pencil, which doesn’t work for all kids,” Cichello said.

The MakerSpace is being used in all grade levels except for kindergarten, but Cichello says they are working on a way to incorporate it into their curriculum.

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