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Putnam Teachers Making Space For MakerSpace In Schools

An instructor demonstrates a project for teachers to complete at a "MakerSpace" workshop held at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.
An instructor demonstrates a project for teachers to complete at a "MakerSpace" workshop held at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES. Photo Credit: Contributed

Twenty-two teachers from Westchester and Putnam counties learned to make talking greeting cards and mini boom boxes at a“MakerSpace” workshop at Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES recently.

The workshop teaches them to encourage students to take risks, make mistakes and follow their interests in hands-on learning projects. 

Once trained, it is anticipated that these teachers will become MakerSpace leaders in their respective districts. 

At the elementary level, a MakerSpace activity might involve giving students a balloon and suggesting they make something out of it with paper mache.

At each stage, the teacher would encourage the students to take their projects a step further. The results might include a ball, a bowl, a basket or a flower.

Science educator and MakerSpace advocate Dr. Helen Pashley showed teachers the kinds of projects that could be created in a school MakerSpace. 

In one exercise, teachers used a dowel, small motor and old headphone wiring, then wired up their mobile phones to become boom boxes, when they bit on the dowel. In another, they hacked musical greeting cards to create new messages.

Teachers from Putnam Valley, Brewster, Byram Hills, Chappaqua, Croton Harmon and Eastchester school districts attended the workshop.

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