Maker Space Encourages Exploration
A new Maker Space opened this school year for Washington's Kirkland Adventist School (KSDA) and Puget Sound Adventist Academy (PSAA) students to use in creative exploration and expression.
Utilizing the old library space in the elementary building, this project has been made possible by two grants awarded to Karen Murcia, the founder of the dual-campus Maker Space. Murcia received an EXSEED (Excellence in STEM Experiential Education) award from Loma Linda University, which is granted for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) projects, and the Don Keele Award, granted for educational enhancement in the North Pacific Union Conference.
Private donations have also aided in the project, the composite of which has yielded a space full of colorful, diverse and unique student tools for making and inventing projects, including sewing machines, a 3-D printer, Lego tables, peg boards, art supplies and even a pottery wheel.
Having a space where students create and develop their inventive interests provides an invaluable opportunity for discovery, something students are already enjoying this year. So far the space has been utilized during school hours by life skills and art classes, through which students have learned sewing, crafting and art techniques.
An after-school program Tuesdays and Thursdays has also been implemented. During the program, elementary students are mentored by adults from the community in learning how to use tools for various projects ranging in nature from crafting to engineering.
Murcia says she looks forward to seeing “where students will take the Maker Space,” as they are the ones who will create its future, according to their interests. The opportunity for community collaboration in the space is also exciting.
For now, watching students potentially translate their curiosity into skilled pastimes and beyond to creative careers is a worthy, uplifting process KSDA and PSAA staff are eager to see develop.