This spring, Grade 4 teacher Eliza Botsford led students through an essay-writing unit. Students learned how to write an essay that was both structured and interesting to read. They developed claims for their essays that were personally meaningful, which inspired Grade 4 student Beata to write about her favorite place at Park – the Makerspace. She planned, gathered evidence, drafted, and published her essay, bringing it along to the SPARK event in the Makerspace this May where she was showcasing her work. We loved this student perspective about “The Magnificent Makerspace” and knew you would, too. We are grateful to Beata for sharing her piece with us.
By Beata, Grade 4
Have you ever been to the Makerspace? It is a magical, fun-filled place where you can make amazing things. There are lots of great materials like hot glue guns, paper with all kinds of colors and textures, and more. The Makerspace is a great place to be creative in so many ways. The Makerspace is a great place to be creative by imagining and planning what you want to make, actually creating by making and building, and failing and trying again.
First of all, the Makerspace is a great place to create by imagining and planning what you want to make. For example, there are lots of ways to plan what you want to make, like you can use paper and pencil. You can use a chrome book to look up a picture and use it to show you what you want to make. Or you can look at what other people are making for inspiration. One time I was at the Makerspace and was having trouble building a mini playground.
“This isn’t working!” I said frustratedly. I glared at a piece of paper and realizing I just needed a plan, I grabbed it and a pencil and started sketching. Soon I’d drawn the little slide, and the winding stair, and the rock climbing wall. And using my plan I was able to make it. Another example is once Remi and I had to plan a maze. At first I didn’t understand why we had to plan it, but we made it and it was super detailed. So then, even though things weren’t working. We were able to rely on our plan and we did it. All of this matters because if you can’t plan what you’re going to make, nothing will work.
The Makerspace is also a great place to actually create by making and building. For example, I have seen amazing things made like a basketball hoop, a cardboard lightning bolt, and a giant spider. One time at the Makerspace I didn’t know what to make so I took a pom-pom and put googly eyes on it and was so inspired by it I decided to make a whole house for it, which took the rest of the year but was worth it. And none of that would have happened if I hadn’t made that little pom-pom creature. Another time I was at the Makerspace and I saw my friend Bea, making little pom-pom creatures. I want to do that too, I thought to myself. So I grabbed a hot glue gun, some googly eyes and two pom-poms. I glued the googly eyes on the pom-poms and looked at what I made. Hmmm, I thought they’re OK but they’re missing something. I looked over at Bea again who was putting tiny pom-poms on her pom-pom creature.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“I’m making ear muffs,” she replied. That’s what I’m missing! Something special! I thought. I went to the bins filled with tiny pom-poms and a pipe cleaner and put them on my pom-poms. And I was so happy I made them, it was super fun. I hope you can see how many fun and amazing ways you can make in the Makerspace.
…the Makerspace is a great place to create by failing and trying again.
Finally the Makerspace is a great place to create by failing and trying again. Once at the Makerspace Remi and I had to make a maze. I felt excited, I had a great plan and was ready to start. But unfortunately the board my maze was on didn’t look how I thought it would. It had little holes to stick pegs in and you put rubber bands on the pegs.
“Our plan will not work with this board!” I said.
“We’ll just have to try our best,” Remi said. So we got some pegs and rubber and started. It didn’t turn out how we planned it to, but it was amazing. If we hadn’t failed and tried again we wouldn’t have made it as amazing as it was. In addition it is a fact that 9/10 times I fail I end up making something even better. Another time I was at the Makerspace and I needed a way to be able to connect and disconnect two pieces of cardboard but I couldn’t use tape or glue. I had no idea how to do it! I thought and thought but everything I thought of I knew would fail. Finally I asked Ms.Hamilton, who was in charge of the Makerspace.
“Hmmm, I think I know what you can use,” She said. She walked over to the bins filled with materials I couldn’t use without tape and glue. She crouched down and looked through a bin, then finally pulled out a long piece of plastic with little white dots on it.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“ They’re Velcro dots,” Ms.Hamilton explained.
“ That’s perfect!” I said excitedly. Soon I’d put them on and it worked better than anything I could’ve come up with glue and tape. If I hadn’t failed I wouldn’t have been able to come up with a better solution. All of this matters because it’s a good life skill to be able to fail and try again, and the Makerspace teaches you how to do that.
The Makerspace it’s a great place to explore all parts of creativity. The Makerspace is a great place to explore all parts of creativity by thinking how you want to make, being creative and making, and making mistakes and figuring out how to fix them.
The Makerspace it’s a great place to explore all parts of creativity. The Makerspace is a great place to explore all parts of creativity by thinking how you want to make, being creative and making, and making mistakes and figuring out how to fix them. When I realized how magnificent the Makerspace is, I started going every chance I got. I think everyone should get to go somewhere like the Makerspace. So next time you can go to the Makerspace you should because you are 100% guaranteed to have an excellent time!
Read more about the Makerspace in “Can Do!“, which will be featured in the upcoming Spring Bulletin.