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South Pasadenan: Arroyo Vista Elementary-Collaborative Work Spaces Launched

Posted By KinderLab Christina On May 23, 2022 in Media Coverage

In this article, the team at Arroyo Vista Elementary School discuss their new makerspace, which was developed with three focuses: a commitment to nurturing, inspiring, and educating the next generation.

The article reads in part:

“The school’s Multi Purpose Room (MPR) provided the ideal venue for the students to explore the various technologies, like KIBO, a screen-free programmable robotic kit that is highly popular among students.

KIBO robots are constructed by students and programmed using a series of wooden command blocks. Beyond just teaching coding, KIBO exercises connect language arts, engineering, and collaboration skills. In their first sessions, students begin by scanning and building an assigned code. By their 3rd session, they are able to program the KIBO robots to navigate the cityscape rugs on the floor of the Makerspace.

Recently, 2nd graders expanded on the cityscape concept, creating their own “story maps,” following a character’s storyline from books they were assigned as part of other classroom curriculum. In other classes, KIBO’s have been converted to snow plows, with students having to adjust the robot’s height and movements in an exploration of the concepts of force and motion.

The KIBO exercises sought to encourage collaboration and patience amongst the students. Each activity required a team debrief to better understand the technical aspects of an assignment before moving to something more complex. Fifth grade helpers worked with younger students but were encouraged to allow the younger students to figure things out on their own through trial and error and exploration. These approaches reinforced the Makerspace ideology of starting small and simple, to build enthusiasm and momentum. It also highlights the evolving skill sets and cross-team collaboration required in the modern workplace.

Something heartwarming also happened in just the first few months of the Makerspace programming: KIBO enhanced the students’ social-emotional well-being during their return. The first weeks back in the fall were challenging and students responded differently than they had pre-pandemic. However, teachers quickly noticed the resiliency of students when they finally were able to sit down in-person together, on rugs spread across the MPR, to troubleshoot, collaborate, and continue to persevere.”

Read the full article.