Mt. Lebanon's Mellon and Jefferson Middle Schools are a recent addition to Matt’s Maker Space - just beginning in the Winter of 2021! While getting anything started during a pandemic has its challenges, Mellon and Jefferson have wasted no time.
With the help of Matt’s Maker Space, Mellon and Jefferson now include a variety of maker space equipment - sewing machines, a heat press, embroidery machine, 3D printer, laser cutters, Cricuts, a dremel and more! The equipment is currently spread across a few separate classrooms, but the ultimate vision is to centralize everything into dedicated Matt’s Maker Space locations. Ultimately, the goal is to allow students access to as much technology as possible and unlock endless creations.
Currently, the space is used for supplementing class projects as well as after school clubs like the Cricut Club and 3D Printing Club! Some of their projects include designing and sewing pillows with Cricut machines, 3D printing COVID-19 safety applications, and exploring AI. The space has allowed students to explore and have blossoming knowledge from a plethora of projects.
The impacts of the pandemic are felt in many aspects, but there have still been silver linings of online maker space learning. One of the benefits of the pandemic is that it has allowed for more time for planning and learning of the technology, like in creating tutorial videos to teach students skills through project-based learning. Even after returning to a hybrid learning format, the pre-recorded tutorial videos allow students to reinforce their learning and have the flexibility to look back on task instructions to help them master their task. Another benefit was that this added time allowed for further construction to be completed on their Matt’s Maker Space before their grand opening.
Though Mt. Lebanon's Mellon and Jefferson Middle School’s Matt’s Maker Space may be new, they are already well on their way to introducing their kids to new and evolving opportunities. We are excited to see how they’ll continue to use their equipment, space, connections and resources to introduce new technologies and inspire the future generations!