Albemarle County Schools’ Journey From a Makerspace to a Maker District #BacktoSchool
Schools to Makerspaces to Maker Districts. Here’s a success story via EdSurge.com
Superintendent Pam Moran and the whole crew at Charlottesville’s Albemarle County Public School system have received their fair share of press (from Makered.org to Edutopia) for bringing the Maker Movement to Virginia schools. Back in 2013, for example, NBC highlighted the district’s library-turned-makerspace. But Albemarle elementary teacher Andrew Craft is the first to admit that he doesn’t want maker activities to be confined solely to one room. “Making shouldn’t be isolated. We want to get away from that idea. Makerspaces and classrooms are one and the same,” he says.
A mish-mash of equipment—a Makerbot 3D printer, sewing machines, Spheros—sits around the library, atop tile floors that Thorson reports were laid to accommodate “messier projects.” Thorson also calls attention to “a collaboration room and a peer tutoring center” in the corner, and in the far back of the library, students in a music studio create soundscapes. In the library, any teacher or student is welcome to use the space as they wish.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.