Submitted by: Kathryn Saussy, Middle School Teacher
"Maker Class has a unique way of being artistic, but educational." - HL, 6th grade
"We get to explore and learn through making new things." -AS, 7th grade
As part of the integrative class curriculum, Sterne offers a Maker Class for our 4th-8th grade cohort. Led by Ms. Kerry, Ms. O’Grady, and Ms. Saussy, the Maker Class integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), all while students learn how to be responsible members of a maker community.
Early in the quarter, students spent time exploring stations that provided a sampling of maker elements consisting of a marble run, legos, cardboard, clay & play-dough, and the design of the maker cart. In addition to the stations, students were exposed to weekly lessons, including a ball-drop activity (velocity), and how to make slime. These stations and weekly lessons helped students develop a fluency around the maker concept, process, and the connection between idea & implementation. To help gain buy-in, students were required to master a task/skill and become “managers” of that function, responsible for training other students.
Now in the final weeks of the quarter, students are busy finishing their Maker City. This Maker City weaves creativity, process, and important teamwork throughout. Students share ideas for what to build, and how. The student Maker City hosts a butcher shop, Target, gas station, train, houses, a church, and much more! Students also manage the clean-up process at the end of every class period - so they recognize and take ownership of the additional responsibility in the building/creating process.