Wautoma School Board hears Makerspace and Camp Parkside technology presentations

The Wautoma Area School Board members were intro-duced to the new Parkside Makerspace and learned about some of the technology projects students completed at Camp Parkside during their regular board meeting held at Parkside Middle School on Sept. 11. 

The Makerspace was created by 7th grade Science teacher Kristen Whitney and Spanish teacher Jess Anders to provide a collaborative work space to allow students to make, learn, explore and share their creations. The students visiting the Markerspace located in one of the old computer labs have the opportunity to use high tech and low-tech tools to create projects.   

The vision for the space is to allow students to learn through creating and exploring without the pressure of failing, Whitney and Anders stated in their presentation. 

The students are currently able to use the space during their morning meeting, Circle of Power & Respect as well as STAGE (Student Time for Academic Gifted Enrichment). With help from the administration, donations from families and staff the new space was available for students to use this fall. 

Following the presentation on the Makerspace, Parkside Middle School Assistant Principal Mike Kleiforth presented to the board a few examples of the projects students made using the technology purchased for Camp Parkside. 

The items Kleiforth spoke about included items created with the 3-D printer, including key chains for the teachers; a 3-D Googler, or 3-D pen; Little Bits, technology kits composed of electronic building blocks; Lego Mindstorm, which allows students to use software and hardware to create and customize robots and program them; Bloxorz, a hands-on creative technology experience to create a plan for a video games; Spheros, which are controlled by iPads and allows for students to learn coding techniques; as well as the importance of having 26 new Chromebooks available for Camp Parkside students. 

During the Wautoma High School Student Council report, President Maddie Peterman updated the board on the progress they have made recruiting new members. Peterman stated in May a few of the current student council members at the high school spoke to the 8th grade students at Parkside about joining. With 17 students returning high school students signed up this fall, the WHS Student Council now has a membership of 41 students.

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