Education


Sandy Hook School Hosts A 'Makerspace Week'

Published: May 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

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Sandy Hook Elementary School fourth grader Jack Meade and his mother, Michelle, pause for photo while working with a Dash & Dot robot, on the floor, at an April 24 Makerspace Night. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Sandy Hook Elementary School fourth grader Jack Meade and his mother, Michelle, pause for photo while working with a Dash & Dot robot, on the floor, at an April 24 Makerspace Night. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Dana Schicker and her third grade son, Collin, work together in one section of the Sandy Hook Elementary School library on April 25 to draw an image to connect dots shown on a tablet set up with an Osmo device. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Dana Schicker and her third grade son, Collin, work together in one section of the Sandy Hook Elementary School library on April 25 to draw an image to connect dots shown on a tablet set up with an Osmo device. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Sandy Hook Elementary School library/media specialist Katie Mauro works with students, from left, Serena Roberto, Madison Siksay, and Riley Quinn during a library class session at the school. The group used a Snap Circuits kit to create a…
Sandy Hook Elementary School library/media specialist Katie Mauro works with students, from left, Serena Roberto, Madison Siksay, and Riley Quinn during a library class session at the school. The group used a Snap Circuits kit to create a contraption that would spin a disk into the air. (Bee Photo, Hallabeck)
Sandy Hook Elementary School celebrated a "Makerspace Week," from April 23 to 28, with activities for both parents and students. A Makerspace Night for parents and students was held on April 24, and throughout the week students participated in different lessons in the school's library.

The week's activities were made possible, according to Sandy Hook library/media specialist Katie Mauro, thanks to the school's PTA. The different devices used throughout the week were mostly funded through grants from the last couple of years, both from the Newtown Education Foundation (NEF) and from a grant the Newtown Mobil supported, according to Ms Mauro, who organized the week.

Throughout the Makerspace Week, as classes rotated through lessons in the library, Ms Mauro said students took part in activities set up at different stations in the room. In one area, students could use Snap Circuits kits to design models with moving parts. According to the Snap Circuits manufacturer, Elenco, the kits teach students about electronics, engineering, science, and technology. In another area, iPads were set up with Osmo devices, which are designed to turn tablets into hands-on lessons in problem solving, coding, and more, according to its website, playosmo.com. Dash & Dot robots were also available for students to program to move about an area of the library. A programmable robot mouse was set up on a table for students to design a maze, and program the mouse to go through the maze.

Younger students could play with Keva planks to build structures out of the wooden pieces.

During the Makerspace Night students and parents made their way between the stations, and students took turns showing parents how to use the different tools and machines. Students also gathered with friends to team up to use the robots or Snap Circuits kits.

Overall, Ms Mauro said she hopes the week taught students that they are "more independent than they realize."

As part of teaching the students to be independent, Ms Mauro arranged for parents to visit the library during class activities. As she described to one third grade class, the students were in charge of explaining to the visiting adults how to use each station in the library.

"You guys are the teachers today," she said near the start of a third grader's class. "You have to teach them how to code, engineer, and Osmo."

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2