During my tenure as technology director at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Day School in Miami, the idea of makerspaces — collaborative workspaces that are growing more and more popular across the country — intrigued me, from both a pedagogical and a technological perspective. I decided to base my doctoral thesis on them: “Tinkering in K–12: An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study of Makerspaces in Schools as an Application of Constructivist Learning.”
What I found during my research was that more professional development on makerspaces is desperately needed. In fact, an astounding 40 percent of makerspace teachers reported that they had received no PD on makerspaces at all. That’s 40 percent too many. PD needs to be available to all administrators and educators interested in implementing these classes that break the traditional teaching mold.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.