Innovative Learning through STEM-Inspired Maker Spaces at NLA
Our aim at New Life Academy is to energize students in their God-given gifts, empowering them to use their talents in powerful ways for the Kingdom of God.
As technology evolves, we are faced with an exciting opportunity to nourish our students’ voracity for hands-on learning through incorporating STEM-inspired Maker Spaces.Maker Spaces offer access to unique technology and materials, creating an ideal environment for innovation and invention. Resources made available in Maker Spaces are based on student interest but typically include trade-specific technology like video and sound production, 3D printers, Lego Robotics, drafting equipment, circuit equipment, art and craft materials, or digital animation software. NLA families have an opportunity to directly invest in this outlet for student learning and growth due to generous gifts from Annual Giving and the Auction.
For this generation of students, making is synonymous with learning. To maximize learning and growth opportunities, more and more schools are building “Maker Spaces,” technical resource labs dedicated to breathing life into classroom concepts. With a student-centered learning approach, Maker Spaces offer access to unique technology and materials, creating an ideal environment for innovation and invention. Resources made available in Maker Spaces are based on student interest but typically include trade-specific technology like video and sound production, 3D printers, Lego Robotics, drafting equipment, circuit equipment, art and craft materials, or digital animation software.
More than a shop class or computer lab, Maker Spaces are focused on collaborative and often self-directed learning. Students are encouraged to solve their own problems in a team setting, seeing a project through from beginning to end. Teachers will also be involved, assigning projects and supervising based on NLA curriculum, but the environment will also give students a chance to invest in their personal interests in hobbies before or after school.
As students grow in their problem solving, creative, and leadership skills, they are simultaneously prepared for both college and career. Teacher Educator Gary Stager, PhD, noted the importance of “making” in institutes of higher learning. “The 21st century is going to see the integration of these tools into every college major and career choice,” he wrote in a recent Scholastic article. “MIT recently announced it is adding a section to its admissions application for students to write about what they have made. Making demonstrates not only technical knowledge and creativity but also habits such as perseverance and resourcefulness.”
The mission of Maker Spaces aligns closely with the mission of NLA to prepare students for the real world through a dynamic, challenging learning environment. As part of our commitment to pursuing excellence in education, New Life Academy will remain vigilant in pursuing the most up-to-date learning opportunities and resources, encouraging students to live out a higher purpose with the unique skills and abilities God has gifted them. Without the generous ongoing support and partnership of our amazing New Life Community through events like the auction and golf tournament, and through Annual Giving, resources like Maker Spaces would not be possible.