Mountain View Elementary created the first Makerspace Learning Lab in the Claremont Unified School District in 2018. A Makerspace Lab is where students apply interdisciplinary standards paired with California K–12 Computer Science and Next Generation Science Standards through hands on projects.

Our Makerspace includes flexible seating where students have the choice to sit either on a rolling chair, an adjustable wobbling stool that allows for fidgeting, or a traditional chair. The lab is equipped with everything from pens, paper, cotton balls, and microscopes, to iPads, sewing machines, robotics tools, virtual reality goggles, green screens, design software and Little Bits. Little Bits are electronic circuit building blocks connected with magnetic snaps that can be assembled in specific sequences to make machines such as fans, lights, sound boards, robotic arms, and more.

In our Makerspace, students are exploring new concepts, work through problems and collaborate across disciplines, all of which are essential functions in an ever-changing workforce. Principal Cruz-Soto feels that “Fostering a love of Science at an early age prepares our students for thinking, learning, solving problems and making informed decisions now and into the future. I feel we are preparing our kids to be successful in a competitive workforce.”

Some projects that students have worked on in the Makerspace Lab include the following:

  • Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten students are currently working on computer science standards: programming Ozobots with algorithms and coding with lines and colors to apply the learning of shapes and letters.

  • First graders are working with computer science standards: programing Ozobots and Spheros with algorithms to tell nursery rhymes and fairy tales using lines, colors and command blocks. First grader, Casey Dinh says “ I like the robots, they can move from place to place.”

  • Second graders are working with physical science standards. Students are creating polymers such as chewing gum and flubber using the properties of solid, liquid and gas. Mirna Brava parent of second grader, James Wilson-Bravo says, “My son loves the Makerspace, it’s a place where he can be creative and see his projects come to life and all the while learning.”

  • Third graders are working with biology and engineering standards. Students have designed spider webs after reading Charlotte’s Web in class. Herman Radke, third grader says, “I like that we get to make crafts and watch videos, like the robot one.”

  • Gabriella Ruiz, fourth grader says, “I like that I get to do lots of stuff, like making a bee mixed with a spider, using papier-mâché.” Fourth graders are applying scientific learning of biological diversity through the structure and function of animal adaptations by designing insects with essential adaptations for a specific layer of rainforest using materials with specific properties. Fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Stradley says, “I love how a Makerspace is dedicated to hands-on creativity. My students are able to problem solve while creating projects when they visit the Makerspace. They are instantly engaged in their learning, learn at a deeper level, and retain more what they’ve just learned about.”

  • Fifth graders are working on computer science standards by writing algorithms that utilize patterns efficiently with commands to complete multi stage problems. Students are applying learning of Native American cultures by designing and recreating specific historic dwellings such as plank homes, igloos, and pueblos. Alexander Wiand, fifth grader says, “I like that we get to use the Little Bits and other things we don’t get to use in our regular classroom.”

  • Sixth graders have designed and engineered catapults using concepts of tension, force, trajectory, angles and stability. Sixth graders are currently learning to use microscopes to explore cell systems.

“We designed the lab to give all students an equal opportunity to feel successful and have fun doing projects connected to classroom learning,” said Mr. D’Ambrosia-Donner, (TOSA) Teacher on Special Assignment. Students engage in all Makerspace activities because they are encouraged to be creative problem solvers while applying classroom learning and learning new skills.   The Mountain View Elementary Makerspace is a special place.