Welcome to our STEAM Room/Makerspace at Highland Drive Elementary!
As you explore our page, be sure to click on the links and headings to be sure to see all of the information and photos from each week of Makers’ Club and makerspace/STEAM Room activities.
To contact us, please email Morgan Kolis at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on twitter @morgankolis.
Here’s our story…
In the fall of 2014, Miss Kolis started to participate in a “maker” class for adults at a community woodshop (“Soulcraft“) with 6-10 other educators. Led by (now-teacher at the Design Academy in Cleveland, Ohio) Sean Wheeler, she began to engage with materials and tools she had never imagined herself using.
In the spring of 2015, Mrs. Wiesler (reading intervention co-teacher) and Miss Kolis started a club at Highland Drive School called the “Makers’ Club.” They ran this club out of their reading intervention classroom and stored the materials in the hallway. They received a grant from the BBH School Foundation to fund LEGO WeDo kits that soon became a hit!
In the spring of 2016, after applying for a GPD Employees’ Foundation Grant, they were awarded $6500 to create an entire “makerspace” within their school building. Thanks to Mrs. O’Mara, they were given the last open classroom in the building and they began to furnish and organize this space!
Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the makerspace (also called the “STEAM Room”) was bustling with action! Not only did the “Makers’ Club” meet and create there on Thursdays (second grade) and Fridays (third grade), but teachers were able to sign out the space weekly to work on “Projects of the Week.” Most projects met at least 5 or more standards in ELA, Science, Math, Technology, and even Social Studies.
In the 2017-2018 school year, we continued to expand. A Smart TV was donated to our room and we expanded to include a room for storage of science materials and a sink! This was crucial to the success of our program and we saw more use of the room for weekly project-based learning. We received another BBH Schools Foundation grant and added OZOBOTS to our room this year as well!
Also in 2018, we were devastated by the passing of our beloved Mrs. Wiesler. We couldn’t be more grateful for the gifts she gave us: her time, her smile, her love of learning, and her passion for helping ALL students.
The 2018-2019 school year has brought us a 3D printer (thanks to our donors at Donors Choose) as well as a donation from the Leonard Gelfand STEM Center at Case Western Reserve University! We have also added a Girls Who Code club for any third-grade girls or boys who would like to learn to code using different tools (Bloxels, LEGO WeDo, CS FIrst, and Code.org).
Also in the 2018-2019 school year, we are so happy to welcome Miss Chilcott to Makers’ Club!
Photos will be posted here weekly. Photos are also posted weekly on the Highland Drive PSO Facebook page and on Miss Kolis’ twitter account @morgankolis.
Note: Because this website was previously devoted to Miss Kolis’ special education classrooms, you may find categories that seem out of place. For example, Miss Kolis just couldn’t part with the category and postings under “Global Read Aloud.”