Welcome to Do It Yourself meets Education, a place where technology, creativity, and curiosity open the door to infinite possibilities… a place designed to ignite the imaginations of a future Steve Jobs or Elon Musk or conjure up images of the breathtaking world of Tony Stark.
Enter the world of Makerspace, debuting this 2018/2019 school year. Integrated with our school wide theme of Instruct, Inspire, and Innovate Makerspace is an environment where students come to create, innovate, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. Focused on being a Future Ready school, Pardes’ Makerspace will provide students a variety of 21st century skills and competencies such as problem solving, communication, collaboration, perseverance, and design. In this “stealth learning” environment, students learn science, technology, engineering, art, math and critical thinking, oftentimes without even being aware that they are actually learning. As they explore, they may utilize high tech, low tech, or no tech at all. Students are empowered with the mindset of failing forward – learning and growing from their mistakes.
A Makerspace provides readily-available materials that stimulate students to creatively ask questions and address problems. It is a space for tools, both physical and virtual. It is a room filled with age-appropriate technology and items with which to invent things. It is a place in which students can grow from knowledge consumers into knowledge creators. It is a mindset that Pardes enthusiastically embraces. It is truly a space that motivates and inspires all students. Given Pardes’ role as Arizona’s largest Jewish day school, our Makerspace will fully integrate 21st century learning into both the secular and Jewish education at Pardes.
Our Makerspace will be an unobstructed, adaptable work area providing boundless opportunities for creativity, exploration, and true learning in a collaborative process. It will truly be a place to spark the hearts and minds of our students as we focus on what we teach and how we teach it to match what students need to know, how they learn, and where and when they will learn.
The Pardes Makerspace will be used by every student in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Students will initially be given STEAM challenges to complete, and as the year progresses, classes will learn to use grade-appropriate technology such as coding, weblogs, green screen videos, 3-D printing, laser cutters, paper circuits, and invention kits. Underscoring that the Makerspace is a living concept, not just a place, even the construction of Pardes’ sukkah will be used to apply Jewish learning to mathematical concepts including scale, ratio, and measurement conversion within the larger subject of applied geometry.
Some future potential Makerspace activities may include:
- Kindergarteners through Third Graders will learn the basics of physics and the scientific method by building Rube Goldberg devices out of balls and ramps, and by constructing aluminum foil boats that will hold specific weights;
- Fourth Grade students will apply their understanding of electricity to create wearable technology;
- Lower school students will learn from technology games called Scratch, Turtle Art, the MaKey-MaKey, and Little Bits;
- Middle school students, will create green screen and stop action videos to teach other students through their own weblogs, they will learn TinkerCAD to develop 3-D print projects in a SharkTank competition, and they will work with servo motors and robotics;
- Earth Science students will use laser cutters to bring topographical maps to life;
- Physics students will engineer furniture from cardboard that is strong enough to support an adult;
- Students will learn basic coding, and students will be encouraged to think Jewishly to create apps that help our community.