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May 2018

Westchester Children’s Museums’ Makerspace Visits Elementary Schools

The Westchester Children’s Museum Visiting Makerspace visited the 3rd grade elementary school classes  promoting innovation and design. The visit was made possible through a generous grant from the Harrison Educational Foundation.

“Harrison is dedicated to providing our elementary students with opportunities to learn about innovation and design,” said Joan O’Keeffe, Director of Science and Technology for the Harrison Central School District.  “We were excited that the Westchester Children’s Museum could come to us and provide these learning opportunities through Makerspaces.”

 

The Makerspace exhibit at the Westchester Children’s Museum offers dual opportunities for STEM learning and for creative arts and crafts projects. They provide visitors with a multitude of design materials and suggested special projects developed by our Museum Educators, according to the Museums website. The program is part of the growing global Maker Movement that encourages hands-on learning environments designed to foster experimentation, invention, creation, and exploration through design.  The Westchester Museum focused on large engineering structures during their visits to Harrison’s schools.

 

“The facilitators were amazing. I love that they began with a literary connection,” said S.J. Preston 3rd grade teacher Lauren Reda.  “The children began building and it was very beneficial for us as teachers to see how they altered their thinking and applied problem solving skills to erect the structures. They enjoyed the building itself but also kept in mind the aspect of stability in order to build larger structures.”

 

“I was also amazed with the fact that they had to deconstruct their buildings by trying to make them fall by removing a minimal amount of pieces and consider which pieces would make the structure most unstable.  It was a very enjoyable experience with lots of learning!” said Reda.