Hands-on Thinking

Students burst through the door of room 110, say a happy hello to teacher Diana Basilone, and return to their work with the purposefulness of robins building their nests.

Welcome to John Jay Middle School’s Makerspace! What used to be a computer lab has been transformed to a creativity lab, inviting students to explore, collaborate and build. It’s a popular new recess option available to all students, an array which also includes, in the cold winter months, the gym, library and theater, where movies are shown.

The room can also be reserved by teachers to augment lessons. This past winter, Sue Reiss’s 7th grade Latin class met in the Makerspace to create Play-Doh maps of the area surrounding Mt. Vesuvius.

The Makerspace in Action

engaging and productive work

There are low-tech supplies: bins of beads and sparkles, shelves of paints and paper, a sewing machine, white board and more, well as high-tech toys including Lego robotics, littleBits modular electronics and Snap Circuits building components.

Projects in process and those too wonderful to remove line the counters by the windows. Students cluster around work tables, absorbed in engaging and productive work.