On Wednesday, March 8, 2017, Colin Angevine, Maker Learning Coach from Digital Promise based in Washington D.C. visited Pittsburgh. Digital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn and was formally launched by President Barack Obama in September 2011. During Colin’s time as Director of STEAM Education at Friends’ Central School, he ran the school’s makerspace. Now as the Maker Learning Coach from Digital Promise, Colin helps administrators around the country who are interested in supporting hands-on, project-based learning.
On Colin’s visit to Pittsburgh, he toured Montour School District’s new MakerSpace located in Forest Grove Elementary. The school’s approach to making its MakerSpace was very unique; it focused not on just creating a MakerSpace, but to build a Maker Culture as an environment to inspire students and teachers in exploring new ways to learn. The space itself was finished in one day with no budget; it was designed by one administrator, one teacher, and one parent with the driving vision reflected through the purpose statement: “To establish and support a Maker Culture through 21st century resources linked to Montour’s curriculum to provide students with authentic learning experiences.”
All of the materials were collected throughout the school in storage closets, overstock inventories and old math and science kits. Some of the materials were collected when the school conducted a “maker drive”, asking parents for specific supplies that could be reused by the school. Colin remarked, “Montour has a reputation for being a pioneering, innovative district. I was delighted to visit Forest Grove Elementary to see it up close.”
Forest Grove Elementary’s MakerSpace
Before Picture: 8:30 AM – October 14, 2016
After Picture: 3:30 PM – October 14, 2016
Montour’s efforts have not gone unnoticed outside of the building either. The school was highlighted in two national articles for its creation process of their MakerSpace, with author Leila Myers noting in her THE Journal articles that Montour “supports a school-wide maker culture by allowing teachers to check out equipment and materials from the makerspace for use in the classroom.” Colin Angevine agreed, stating, “It is clear that the district’s approach to professional development and collaboration among faculty is a model for other administrators to follow.” Montour School District is excited to lead the way towards authentic, project-based learning opportunities as the Maker Movement continues to grow.
For more information on MakerSpace, visit the Remake Larning Playbook.
Director of Innovation
Montour School District