Maker Education at Cambridge Friends School
Maker spaces are popping up all over the globe and differ radically in how they are configured and used. So, what makes the Cambridge Friends School MakerSpace unique? And, why are educators from as far away as Brazil, Egypt, and Los Angeles coming to see how the CFS MakerSpace works?
The answers to these questions lie in the history and mission of Cambridge Friends School. From the day the school opened, CFS faculty and students have been “making” as a way of learning, discovering, testing ideas, or just plain creating something from one’s imagination. So we created a space dedicated to the types of materials, equipment, and technology that would encourage faculty and students to explore topics and concepts in more depth.
The very nature of project-based inquiry, the primary method of teaching and learning at CFS, lends itself to “making” and design thinking. We have woven this hands on space with our school’s curriculum. At Cambridge Friends School, the MakerSpace is not a scheduled class; it is used in conjunction with the classroom or subject curriculum. Since CFS curriculum is project driven and not schedule driven, there is the flexibility to incorporate or take advantage of the unplanned. The use of our MakerSpace changes with the curriculum and reflects the ideas and needs of both students and teachers.
Whether it is a social studies, music, or science project, the subject teacher is responsible for the students understanding of the overall goals of the project. The students are responsible for being actively engaged in learning and understanding both the topic and the design process, as well as for making choices that reflect their interests.