Making Space for Creativity at SHS

New Makerspace Unveiled at SHS Media Center

Matt DiPesa, Editor in Chief

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Exciting new changes are coming to the Scituate High School media center. Last week, school librarian Rebecca Hamburgess unveiled the new “Makerspace,” a section of the library devoted to promoting independent learning.

The project began when Hamburgess noticed how many students talked about being unable to pursue some of their creative interests because there were no classes that covered them. Skills like wood burning, sewing, and other hands-on activities are difficult to include in the high school curriculum.

Hamburgess recognized the need and stepped up for the school. She applied for a grant from the Scituate Education Foundation in order to get the necessary funds for the Makerspace.

“[Makerspaces] are informal learning environments where students…can explore areas of interest,” said Hamburgess. She said they have been successful in other schools because they do away with the restrictions of earning grades or finishing projects within certain time constraints. Promoting creativity and exploration is the main function of the project.

From both the grant and the help of other teachers in the school, Hamburgess began getting the materials to make this idea become a reality. The space will include everything from a sewing machine and a wood burning station to a 3-D printer. Hamburgess sees this space as not only somewhere for students to work individually during a study or free period, but also a resource that can be included in lessons in traditional classes.

According to Hamburgess, many students have expressed an interest in music technology. Along with the tools within the Makerspace, Hamburgess purchased music software with headphones and other tools needed to explore the subject. In addition, she created a Google Classroom with instructional videos and literature to help students get started. The aim is to provide students with all of the tools they need to succeed, but in a stress-free, informal environment.

Including music tech, there are six stations that make up the Makerspace. Each features their own tools and technology. They include textile design, which features a sewing machine. Students interested in fashion “can create their own designs,” said Hamburgess. The wood burning station has its own wood burning pens with scrap wood and space for students to bring in their own materials to sculpt. TV production and video editing equipment features a green screen, digital cameras, and all of the required materials to make productions. In addition, 3D printing allows students to experiment with this exciting new technological development with its small scale printer. Finally, game coding teaches students how to create codes for video games.

In addition to being a social opportunity for students, Hamburgess hopes the Makerspace can prompt students “to explore things within the STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] field.” The goal is for all students to have access to the Makerspace; however, SHS seniors will have first access to the space, followed by the younger grades.

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Making Space for Creativity at SHS