When you walk into the library media center, you probably have noticed that the room on the left has been undergoing some changes. It has been turned into a MakerSpace! A MakerSpace is a public creative workspace with maker equipment for creating, learning, and sharing. Inside there is a sewing machine with cloth, hot glue guns, arts & crafts supplies, a mac, iPads, and a green screen. A green screen is a backdrop used for chroma keying, which uses computer software to replace a defined color with a video or computer graphic (the color is usually bright green as it is different from people's skin tones or clothing). At EHHS, the MakerSpace can be used by classes if teachers would like to use it, by students for their capstone class, and by all students responsibly during a study hall.
MakerSpaces are a part of the larger “maker movement” that can be traced back to the debut of Make: magazine in 2005. The magazine highlights all kinds of fun, mainly technology geared, projects that can be made at home. In recent years, MakerSpaces have been popping up. Close by there are maker spaces at FabLab in New Haven, New Haven public libraries, and Branford Blackstone library. The MakerSpace at Blackstone has been received well by the community, when it opened in 2015, hundreds of people of all ages turned out at two open houses. The growing momentum of the maker mentality prompted Mrs. Goraieb to begin to create a MakerSpace at EHHS. Mrs. Goraieb said, “I decided to create a MakerSpace to open more educational opportunities for our students. Online software is a good way to do projects, but MAKING, is even cooler. So, for example, instead of doing a powerpoint presentation, a student could come to the MakerSpace and use the green screen to do a newscast. Our Capstone students can use the sewing machine to make something. Hopefully, we will be able to purchase more tools to offer more creative options.”
The MakerSpace at EHHS is still a bit of a work in progress. Mrs. Goraieb says that they are working on getting the lighting right for the green screen with its two video cameras and putting in Mac computers to use software that is green-screen-compatible. She also says that she would love to add a 3D printer. The more attention the space is given by students and faculty, the more likely it is the space will be given more resources. Go check out the EHHS MakerSpace and create something! For some interesting DIY maker projects visit: makezine.com.