“This Changes Everything!”

“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination.  They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better” ~ Sidney Sheldon

Last year I introduced robotics to our Gleneagles students.  By robotics, I mean Cubelets, which are simple, interactive cubes that combine to create robots.  I chose robotics as a means to introduce the makerspace concept to our students and to engage them with a new avenue of learning.

They were engaged.

I mean, I’ve never witnessed such a bug-eyed, gaping group of astonished learners seated before me. Their excitement was palpable.  I honestly thought that some of them were going to hyperventilate before they even had a chance to interact with this new resource.

Later I would describe the “cohesive tension” of this moment to colleagues, marveling at the joyful nature of complete student engagement, a collective focus, and an awe.

However, in spite of this shared moment of excited animation, what resonated most powerfully with me on that morning was a student comment.  At the conclusion of our activity, a grade five girl approached me and shared:

“I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  But this changes everything!”

This changes everything: these three words affirmed for me everything I needed to know about the potential of makerspaces. They can be transformational for our students.

Makerspaces introduce new resources, new opportunities and sometimes unexpected horizons for students.

Makerspaces: “This changes everything”. It’s all I needed to know to move forward.

 

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