What does it mean to live in the twenty-first century? It means being surrounded by unparalleled technological progress, it means asking what will the future look like?
This past summer Ojai Valley School Lower Campus technology teacher Doug Sackett sought to answer that question. Mr. Sackett embarked to make Makerspace, a space for ideas to be born into reality.
The space is designed to be an engineering, programming, prototyping haven and is a major step in feeding the creative and tech minds of the future.
The hope is that the space will encourage students to take part in STEAM based learning — which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math — and augment the technology program by extending beyond the screen into tactile engineering and programming.
“The idea is it’s a STEAM lab. It’s a place for us to meet the needs of twenty-first-century learners,” said Mr. Sackett.
Among those twenty-first-century learners is freshman Ethan Gao who spent two weeks this summer as an unpaid intern helping to create the Makerspace, an extension on his existing interest in computer science that started when he was young.
“What got me interested in computer sciences was probably my uncle, he works as IT for USC and he taught me programming with a very basic program which is called ‘vbscript’ when I was in fourth grade or so,” said Ethan.
Ethan’s interest has only grown, combined with a penchant for creating things Ethan is a perfect fit for the kind work being done this summer. Ethan is brimming with curiosity and genuine interest in what the Makerspace has to provide.
“I was really interested in doing it [working on the space] and he [Mr. Sackett] told me that I would be able to use the makerspace and test out the equipment” said Ethan, a mad scientist gleam in his eyes.
“[Ethan helped in] planning the space, organizing tools, helping make decisions regarding future purchases, and inspiring his teachers,” said Mike Mahon, Assistant Headmaster of the Lower Campus, previous Technology Teacher and overall Maker enthusiast.
With Ethan’s help and inspiration the space is now up and running. Full of storage and table space just waiting to be occupied with projects. The Makerspace is ready to see a wave of STEAM minded individuals with a passion for what they do, but the space is not only for students with pre-existing interest, it is meant to inspire all.
“I think part of what we’re trying to do,” said Mr. Sackett, “is have students have more ownership over what they’re learning.”
At its heart the Makerspace is run on curiosity and a want to learn, to push the boundaries of the future. The space is an incredibly important and inventive way of bringing the future to the present, to the students who are about to leap headfirst into the future.
Students like Ethan Gao, whose passion and curiosity helped to create this unique Makerspace, students of curiosity and invention.
Ethan hopes that the Makerspace will become a place for those people, those students, to join the Maker’s community.
“One of the goals I would like to see for the Makerspace is that it be an open space that anyone can use so that if they have a project they want to do they have the tools to build it.”Share