Do you remember walking into school and having an, “Oh my gosh!” moment? That is what makerspace is doing for the students at Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach. When parents ask what is so exciting about makerspace, what is it, and how it works, teachers are excited to give them the answer.
Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is far more than a science lab, wood shop, computer lab or art room, although it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. Unlike the days of yore, makerspace unlocks students’ imaginations and empowers their hands, enabling them to create what they imagine. It allows students the time and supplies they need to build and explore. They are given a task or problem and a set of supplies and are asked to come up with their unique solution.
In addition to makerspace, Our Lady Queen of Angels is inspiring students through Project Lead the Way which provides transformative learning experiences for all students. Similar to makerspace, Project Lead the Way creates an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and helps students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. Pathways in computer science and engineering engage students in such a way to empower them to solve real-world challenges and inspire them to reimagine how they see themselves.
Global and local challenges surround us. To address these challenges and move forward, we will need people who know problem-solving strategies, think critically and creatively, communicate and collaborate with others, and persevere when something does not work the first time. Project Lead the Way gives students these skills, all relevant to any career or role they take on, and prepares teachers to engage their students in hands-on learning.
Whether designing and producing a prosthetic or deploying innovative water-filtration devices in developing countries, Our Lady Queen of Angels students and the teachers who support them, are making a difference in their classrooms, in their communities, and around the world.