I wanted to give you another update/report! Our button maker was finally delivered this week, which means we have now officially received all of the makerspace supplies. Alex designed the carts that house our mobile art makerspace with his art classes, so students had a hand in the creation and design of the carts. We have been holding makerspace time in the library during lunch for four days a week for the past month or so, and we have about 5-10 students who come every single day for both of our lunch periods. They have really been enjoying fiber arts – weaving and crochet are very popular. Our student clubs and classes have also been utilizing the makerspace, we’ve had GSA, ASB, TREC, and high school interns utilizing the paint and tarps to make posters for a schoolwide event that we are holding on April 14th. I am working with our 7th grade social studies teachers, they are learning about Japan and we are currently in the process of planning out Japanese traditional crafts to do with students utilizing the origami and calligraphy supplies. I am particularly excited about this collaboration because Japanese is one of the languages that I speak, I’ve lived in Japan, and I’ve taken traditional Japanese calligraphy and ink painting classes, so I am excited to be able to add that personal connection for our students. After we get back from spring break we will host regular after school makerspace time as well.
I would love to invite you to one of the lunch or after school makerspace times once we return from spring break! I don’t know if you have experience with a specific type of art (ex. crochet) but if you do, I know students would love to have that connection if that is something you are willing and able to do.
I have also attached some pictures of the makerspace carts, progress photos, and student art! Many students are camera-shy and did not want to pose on camera in front of their work, unfortunately. We’ve been collecting our data on student experiences — students are trying art styles and techniques that they are completely unfamiliar with, and although many are initially apprehensive, they still persevere. It has been really impactful because many of them struggle to get started, but they keep trying even when it would be easier to quit. Students that I’ve traditionally seen quit before they’ve even started with traditional classwork and building their resilience in the makerspace. Their friends encourage them and teach them too. Students who initially gave up the first time keep coming back, and you could see the excitement on their faces when something clicks for them. Some great quotes from students have been: “Look how much faster and better I did it the second time!” “It was hard, but then I did it!” “I feel so calm while I’m doing this!” “This has been so fun and relaxing!” “Can we actually keep our projects when we’re done with them!?” Students come into the space from the hectic lunch area, and while there is of course chatting as they work on their projects, but you can see their attitudes shift in the space to one that is calm and focused. All of them have asked how we got the supplies to host the makerspace, and they wanted me to relay their thanks after I explained that folks from Escondido donated the money so that they could make art and keep it for themselves. Please accept our sincere thank you for funding this project, and please let me know if you need additional information from me or Alex.
G and Alex