Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS) recently introduced a Makerspace room as yet another STEM infusion to benefit the high school students and staff. A Makerspace is a collaborative workspace providing a hands-on, creative way to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they engage in science, engineering, learning and exploring.
Classes in agriculture, art, world language, FACS, math, technology, business, social studies, JAG, English, and science all use the space, with sixty teachers trained corporation-wide on the equipment. In this space, students can create a visual to complement their book report, science display or any other classroom project.
MVHS is part of an elite group of schools who have a Makerspace, and is one of the schools with the highest number of high-tech resources. Over 1,000 students go through the Makerspace room. This space will help students problem-solve, collaborate, and help with their critical thinking skills.
A teacher that has recently utilized the space is MVHS English teacher, Ms. Jennifer Sherbak. Her English 9 Honors class worked on a Makerspace project that consisted of making “scribble bots” as a response to their most recent read, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. A “scribble bot” is a machine that is made of many parts that moves and draws independently, which is reflective of the creation from Frankenstein.
Ms. Sherbak was first introduced to “scribble bots” last spring, when she attended an Indiana Humanities workshop entitled “Electrifying Education: Teaching Science with Frankenstein.” At the workshop, there were discussions regarding how to make “scribble bots,” and how to answer pressing questions connected to the novel such as What is life? Why do we create? And what are our responsibilities as creators, scientists, and engineers? The purpose of such a project is to help students apply STEM to their collaborative discussions on Frankenstein and their language arts education.
MVHS principal, Mr. Greg Roach, says that “Our focus in STEM is to have our students collaborate, use critical thinking, creativity, and communication. The Makerspace room is a shining example of a STEM-focused environment.”
Some additional examples of the projects that have been pursued through the Makerspace include: 3D printing, laser cutting, dye sublimating, drill pressing, vinyl cutting, and soldering. Two HP Sprouts with 3D scanners were donated to the corporation by NineStar Connect; MVHS is grateful for their partnership as well as 1st Makerspace who helped develop the area.
Mr. Roach also expresses his desire to potentially open the Makerspace up for community use, saying “I would like to expand the Makerspace to give Mt. Vernon families opportunities to use their own imagination to create their own items.” Community Makerspace nights may be in the future!