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The Weston Makerspace Olympics

Weston School students put active learning to the test during the school’s first-ever Makerspace Olympics.

Makerspaces are collaborative workspaces within school libraries (or other rooms) that offer students many different ways to create, learn, explore and share their learning. Resources can include technology (like tablets, programmable robots or 3D printers), craft supplies, Lego and more. Students get the opportunity to try hands-on activities and other stations that explore students’ different learning styles.

The Weston event was held in part to celebrate the recent Winter Olympic and Paralympic events in PyeongChang, South Korea. The Olympics ran from Feb. 9-25 , while the Paralympics ran from March 9-18.

“In the spirit of the Olympics, we decided to do Makerspace challenges for our entire school,” said Grade 3/4 teacher Serena Parisian. “Some activities are timed challenges, others are just for fun, but every class will get a chance to do each of the stations.”

All of the stations utilized recycled materials where possible; events ranged from stacking block towers to a station where participants had to wiggle to empty a tissue paper box full of balls that was strapped to their waists.

Ms. Parisian’s Grade 3 and 4 students served as ambassadors for each station, running through the rules and offering demonstrations of each activity.

“My students go through the instructions, clean up between groups and replenish the supplies as needed,” she said.

Ultimately, organizers hoped to show students that there are many ways to learn and be active.

“Makerspace is a place where kids can go and learn in different ways. Not all of us learn with a pen and paper, so this is an opportunity for students to do challenges where they can think outside of the box, be creative and work as teams through collaboration.”

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