The Maker's Space

I have returned to Christian Education Leadership after a sojourn in library world.  One new-ish workshop we are implementing is a Maker's Space, collaborative spirituality center complete with 3D printer.  We did an Advent rotation on Heralding... the 3rd graders made our tree topper on the 3D printer.  SO FUN!

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Thank you!  The workshop looks like a collaborative spirituality center model with multiple response choices.  There is a magnetic poetry wall/white board, a lego wall, and the computer/tech center. The group has created a commercial for our Christmas Benevolence church-wide mission project. This built on the Drama Workshop.  The children will soon be able to use tablets to help design the items to be built on the 3D printer. This past winter, they discussed what type of tree topper they wanted to make. (I trust Yoda was never a valid option!) They selected the item.  An older student helped program and run the printer.

This fall we are looking forward to a robust exploration of the TEMPLE.  Each group will design and print/make a portion of a replica.  The Maker's Space is a guided response to the scriptures, but with self-selected medium.  The church's Presbyterian Women gave us a grant to get the workshop up and running as a 500th anniversary of the Reformation project for our Sunday School.  We hope to add in Story and Stretch and other activity choices. So far it is a hit with the 3rd graders and older.  We will add the 1st and 2nd graders this fall.

The "elevator speech" for it is:

"An open response model taking libraries and well, libraries, by storm! Ours has a twist.  It is embedded in the knowledge that the chief end of humanity is to Glorify God and to Enjoy God Forever (borrowed from Q1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.)  Our Maker’s Space is a cooperative open response workshop that provides resources and dialogue. Children are encouraged to survey the world around them and use the resources (supplies, stations, and each other) to respond to the Word.

 In every case there should be NON DIRECTIVE open response and student choice. The feel is like a “Spirituality Center” without limits on the Holy Spirit!"

 Do you have ideas to implement?  I'd love to hear them. 

We have decided to do a model of the Temple at Jerusalem.  The children will research the temple using tablets.  Then, they will decide what they want to make each session.  This will be a year long project using lots of different media.  The 3-D printer will definitely make great walls and the dome.  We can create other things as we want.  I'm hoping to include a song writing workshop, too!  We are having fun with our collaborative response rotation! 

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Amy Crane

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