This fall, the elementary schools opened their reimagined libraries with new Matt's Maker Spaces. These spaces are beehives of activities as students collaborate on projects. You can feel the creative energy as students problem solve how to make a marble travel the farthest or figure out how to build a structure to support an object. In this space science, engineering, art, communication, math and technology all intersect as students work in teams or individually to try out new ideas. As Hoover Principal Nicole Giehll says, "In our Matt's Maker Space, FAIL stands for "First Attempt In Learning."
The District's Matt's Maker Spaces were designed in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Children's Museum. Our elementary librarians worked closely with museum staff to first and foremost determine the educational purpose of the space. The floor plans were then designed to support the goals of the makerspaces, then the furniture and supply needs were determined. In preparation for the launch, a group of Mt. Lebanon teachers from each of our elementary schools attended the Children's Museum Makerspace Boot Camp this summer. The immersive four-day professional development workshop allowed teachers to experience and understand the philosophy and practice of making. Dr. Marybeth Irvin, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and Howe Principal Dr. Michelle Murray are leading the initiative.
At the high school, students like Taylor Ransford have taken making to a whole new level. Last year,
Taylor and a team of students developed a prosthetic hand using a 3D printer. Over the summer, Taylor took that idea, improved and refined it by developing movable joints for the hand and fingers.
Special thanks go to MTL parents and alumni Noelle and David Conover for their generosity in providing the initial funding for Matt's Maker Space through the District's Century of Excellence Campaign. Thank you also to all of our families who have contributed to their school's makerspace. Your generosity has made an impact in our schools. Read about Matt's Maker Space in the September issue of the Mt. Lebanon Magazine.