Research: One of the hottest new trends in education is based in the maker movement, an extension of “do-it-yourself” culture. It combines the elements of shop class, the arts, engineering, and home economics to promote creativity and teach real-world skills within the school day. The school offers a space where tools, supplies, and other resources are available for students to tinker and experiment with. These hands-on learning opportunities introduce new hobbies and passions to students, and according to Roland Barth of the Harvard Principals’ Center, develop risk taking, purposefulness, the ability to pose important questions, freedom, hard work, collective learning, leadership, and a sense of responsibility for one’s self and others.
Practice: Last year we applied for a received a grant from the Glendorn Foundation to bolster hands-on learning. We will be creating maker spaces at both campuses that offer tools, supplies, and other resources to tinker and experiment with outside of class. We see great potential in this project as so many of our students are experiential, or hand-on, learners. At the South Campus activity centers will provide choice in how students spend their time during their activity/study period. At the high school breaks in their schedules will offer time for experimentation.