Wednesday , 17 January 2018
Breaking News

Here’s What You Could Do To Strengthen Your Learning Commons

Image of the door entryway to the studio.Image of the makerspace window with three different student-made signs that say makerspace.Ms. McRary and Griffin were District Innovative Grant Winners for the 2016-17 school year.  Because they were a district winner, they received $1,500 as a joint effort for the 2017-18 school year.

Because of our Newton-Conover Middle school is a STEM school, great strides have been made to improve the STEM-related opportunities in the NCMS media center.  Spaces have been designated for collaboration, a Makerspace, a recording studio, a TinkerSpace as well as space for other activities that support the maker movement.  Through the generosity of three past innovative grants, our learning commons dreams have started to become a reality, but there are even more improvements we would like to make to the existing spaces.

Collaboration Space: The flexible seating we have in the collaboration space is trendy.  Students are given a chance to work in the environment that best suits them, whether they need to stand, lie, or wiggle while they work.  Since the different available options are so popular, we would like to add a few more options to the collaboration space.

  • Additional yoga balls and stands (the yoga balls are by far the most popular option!)
  • Desk pedalers
  • Wobble stools
  • Lap desks

MakerSpace: Students working in the Makerspace often come with their ideas, ready to get to work.  Others go into the Makerspace wanting to make something but not quite sure what.  We would like to have two tablets available exclusively for the Makerspace.  These tablets will be wall mounted so students would always be able to research ideas while still in the Makerspace and be able to reference directions and pictures while they work.  The tablets will also house an idea bank of possible items that can be made from objects in the Makerspace.  

Recording Studio: We have lighting, a green screen, and an iPad recording, but sound options are limited to the internal mic from the iPad.  They have purchased two handheld mics and two table mics to better support the recording efforts in our studio.

TinkerSpace: Currently, our Tinkerspace contains a lot of broken technology that students can take apart to see how it works.  They can put it back together or turn it into something completely different.  While the kids love this concept, we would like to expand this space to include technology-related items that students can check out and tinker.  Ozobots are a fun, simple way to introduce some coding skills to students.  Also, Kano computer kit which has a Raspberry Pi at its core and provides students an introduction to computer circuitry.  

For more information on how to revamp your learning commons reach out to Newton-Conover STEM Middle School.

About Jessica Schouweiler

Leave a Reply