In this week’s Infinite Energy STEAM blog, we’re taking a look at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.
The school was one of 11 we gave about $48,000 in grants to a few months back—something we do every year as one of the ways we give back to education in the communities we serve. The money helps fund various projects in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—STEAM. And we love to hear more about the progress each of these schools is making.
Media Specialist Jennifer S. at GSMST gave us some of the details:
Tell us a little about what you’ve been able to do with the grant at GSMST.
We had a plan to transform one of our workrooms into a makerspace. With the money, we were able to get a big project table, storage, and supplies for many types of projects. The room became a functional space where students can experiment, work and get messy.
Sounds fun. Can you give us some examples of some of the projects students have done in this space?
Students use the space, called the Sandbox, to make lots of things, especially for art-related projects. They’ve used it to make jewelry, props for video projects, puppets and even clothing. One student is even working on a Halloween costume right now. The makerspace is open to all students, once they’ve been trained on the different pieces of equipment, before and after school.
How does this makerspace reinforce STEAM learning?
I think a big part of STEAM is being able to solve problems in a different way and being able to fail. The Sandbox gives our students an opportunity to use materials and equipment that many of them have never touched before. So many of them really appreciate the opportunity to just tinker around with things until they get the result they are after.
What do the students say about the Sandbox?
The students really like using the space. They’re always very thankful. Some of the them feel like it’s an escape from their rigorous course load. Others are just happy to have a place to make things. A couple of our students have really done an amazing job with learning how to use all the equipment and training other students.
Plans for the near future with this makerspace?
We’d like to continue to grow the space and serve more students. As I mentioned before, we have a few who are training others to become experts with the different pieces of equipment. I’d like to make sure we have students at every grade level who are very confident and can train others. And I’d like to get local experts and artisans out to visit and help teach students. I want to continue to support teachers by offering different options for projects and lessons.
At Infinite Energy, we feel supporting education is one of the best ways to make a positive difference in the world. And we’re proud to support schools like the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology. Stay tuned for more school STEAM blogs in the weeks ahead.