Oak Knoll School Blog

Why We're Excited About Makerspaces

Posted by James McEvoy on Sep 14, 2017 2:10:57 PM

Last year, we unveiled our I.D.E.A.S. lab, the inaugural makerspace in Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s coed elementary school, which underwent a thorough and complete transformation this summer to further allow our students to focus on innovation, design, engineering, art and science.

Philosophically speaking, we define our I.D.E.A.S. Lab as a place where students can generate ideas, test them, be able to fail and try again, while using elementary school technology to bring their ideas to life.

Here a few reasons why we are excited about our makerspace (and why you should be, too)!  


Cutting-edge cross-curricular learning

The space is an exciting new way to promote the established concept of cross-curricular learning. The lab will be the ideal environment where students are encouraged to engage in all STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) fields, while enabling them to find new and exciting ways to improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.  

Encourages collaborative learning

Breaking off students into pairs or groups has been a tried-and-true part of collaborative learning in the school environment. Makerspaces enhance this exponentially by allowing students the ideal environment to collaborate and bounce ideas off one another.




Learners become the teachers

Beyond mere collaboration, the makerspace encourages the students to take on the role of teacher as more and more student-centered learning is favored over teacher-directed lessons in such environments. This helps the student develop character and leadership skills beyond any scientific or mathematical curricula. This concept is highlighted in the Lower School curriculum through problem-based learning and the Genius Hour, which will encourage students to explore their passions creatively in the lab.

Embraces technology of the present and future

As a parent you’ve heard it before and now you’ll hear it again – technology is more and more becoming a core facet of everyday life and it often feels like it is changing – almost by the day –how people learn, work and play. It's important to ensure your child(ren) are able to embrace active and appropriate digital citizenship.

Your children will need to able to adapt and embrace the latest technologies given that, as we’ve learned previously, about 80 percent of jobs created in the next decade will require a STEM educational background.


Encourages girls to pursue STEM/STEAM fields

A 2014 study found that girls and young women who are involved with designing and creating in makerspace environments may develop stronger skills in science, technology, engineering and math and have increased interest in pursuing coding, computer science and engineering further in high school – where only roughly 16 percent of students are currently proficient and interested in these fields.

Beyond high school, women hold less than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering or math fields, so any role our lab can have in encouraging young women to gain the skills, interest and confidence to pursue these fields must be encouraged.

Curious to learn more about our I.D.E.A.S. Lab? Click below and register now for our October 19 Open House, and learn first hand what happens when we encourage students to create their own ideas in our technology incubator.


Topics: technology, STEM, elementary school

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