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We construct that solution, explore whether it worked, and then likely rework the cycle until we’re successful.” Primary students have overcome a variety of problem-solving tasks such as making a bristle bot (a vibrating toothbrush bristle), a  oating superhero medallion, and celebration symbols. Jonathan, a Grade 1 student, clearly enjoys the experience. “It’s fun,” he said. “You can build what you’re thinking.”
Grade 3 teacher Gillian Koeniger said it was very successful this school year to switch gears, and have the class
design and build their individual inventions in the Makerspace. “The inventions are
part of the ‘How We Organize Ourselves’ Unit of
Inquiry and I believe the students
learned far more about the
process of
conceiving, designing and building inventions with the input of teachers and fellow classmates,” she said. Lizette Chapa, the mother of twins in Grade 3, assisted teachers and students in the Elementary School Makerspace with their inventions and echoed Ms. Koeniger’s view. “I watched kids bene t signi cantly from the guidance of teachers and collaboration with their classmates.”
Ms. Joslin-Callahan emphasized that the Makerspaces are very e ective teaching tools serving the important STEM curriculum. STEM is an acronym referring to science, technology, engineering and math. She said the Makerspaces are extremely enjoyable for the students and are preparing them for the future. “We are allocating resources to this space in the belief that it provides another opportunity for children to develop important life-long learning skills.”
The current plan is to further integrate the Primary and Elementary School Makerspaces into the two divisions, and prepare the students for a seamless transition into the Upper School’s Design Technology program, which is a de facto Makerspace of its own.
Emmett Kelly FIS Parent
February 2017 FIS World 11

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