Sad as it is, going to a library to check out a book is quickly becoming a notion of the past. The Opp Middle School library was suffering from that same fate as fewer and fewer students even set foot in their library. A change in atmosphere was needed, as the OMS principal and librarian decided brainstorm ideas to remove the “quiet-only” stereotype libraries have and revolutionize their library into an innovative and interactive thinking space. Their very own maker space program was launched last November to teach students science, technology, and math.
For those not familiar with the Maker Movement, it is a technological and creative learning revolution which empowers students to become the problem-solvers of tomorrow. The movement was popularized by magazines and public fairs, most notably held by President Obama at the White House in 2014. OMS’ maker program ranges from writing code to using Legos to complete challenges, and features projects such as building a fence around a turkey using only a limited set of objects.
The only issue with the program seems to be the cost as most materials are used up after the project is completed, so parents are asked to donate materials and funds. Regardless, since the new program, library attendance has skyrocketed as every single grade level is now taking trips to the library. Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart loves the program’s “engaging way of teaching and learning, as students get the opportunity to express themselves creatively and take pride in successfully completing their maker projects.” We at M4G understand the importance the maker movement is having on the world, and are excited to see more schools and libraries implement maker programs into their curriculum.