A Space to Make Magic

012116_a.png

West Hempstead MS Opens MakerSpace Innovation Center

West Hempstead Middle School officials cut the ribbon on a new Makerspace learning center, where students can gather to create, invent, and learn.

The MakerSpace is equipped with a 3D printer, 3D pens, Lego Mindstorm, Simple Machines stations and laptop computers that are accessible for students to design, invent and learn. In addition, students can use Makey-Makey invention kits to power everyday objects like Play-Doh or a banana with electricity to light bulbs, move avatars and much more.

Middle and high school students were on hand for an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and demo to unveil the new space, which will be shared between schools. “It’s a place to show your creative side,” said West Hempstead High School sophomore Brandon Pierre, who built an oxygen tetrahedron model using the 3D printer. “You can make a bunch of things using the technology here. It’s pretty cool.”

The growing popularity of MakerSpaces follows a “maker movement” which encourages tinkering, recreating and turning unused, discarded materials including computer parts into useful, innovative inventions using anything from basic woodworking tools to the more sophisticated 3D technologies.

“We developed this to provide students with opportunities to explore, make, and tap into a dimension of critical thinking where they can see the designs they think of come to fruition,” said Science Department Chairperson Joe Cangemi of the new space, which had previously been used for storage. “The best part about it is that we can incorporate almost any subject area into this room. We have already had English, math and science classes in here.”

 “I would really like to learn to code video games here,” said sophomore Gabriel Wood. “Video game design is what I want to do after high school so this is great for me.”