Saint Leo the Great School in San Jose has formed a very special partnership with RAFT (the Resource Area for Teaching) to design and to build two brand new custom Makerspaces at the school.
What is a Makerspace? Makerspaces are areas that offer hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they engage deeply in relevant STEAM projects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and tinkering. A Makerspace can be a moveable cart, a wall, or a room with just a few boxes of materials, or a science lab, a woodshop, a computer lab, an art room, or it may contain elements found in any of these examples. Makerspaces are designed to accommodate a wide range of activities, tools, and materials that are critical to the design, making, and exploration process.
The RAFT Education team met several times earlier this year with Saint Leo Principal Matt Komar, and the teachers and parent leaders of the school to discuss design plans for two Makerspace locations.
This May, professionally trained RAFT staff, along with principal and his staff, teachers, students, parents, and other volunteers of the Saint Leo community, will work together in constructing all the mobile wooden furniture for both Makerspaces (stacking tables, shelves, and storage carts).
In addition, during the fall RAFT will be providing professional coaching and design thinking projects (designed directly from NGSS performance expectations and Common Core Standards) for all the Kindergarden through eighth grade teachers to use in their Makerspaces, along with a continuous stream of supplies of re-purposed materials from its huge supply of recycled materials to inspire students to create their own STEAM explorations.