The days of silent libraries and simply learning about the Dewey Decimal System are over, at least at South Sioux City Middle School.
That has been replaced with a more active learning environment, largely in part to a MakerSpace that takes up part of the school library.
A MakerSpace is defined as a place where people can come together to experiment and learn using various types of tools and equipment. In the case of South Sioux City Middle School, students sign up to spend a class period tinkering with old electronics, crafting supplies, and various tech-related toys.
“We're full every day,” said Jenn Flegle, media specialist. “The students are asking to come use it every day. They are so creative.”
Flegle started the MakerSpace this fall after hearing success stories from other school districts that implemented the concept.
The students have responded well to the program, keeping the area busy and full of activity.
On Friday, Nov. 3, a group eighth grade students conducted a deconstruction activity involving old electronics and a variety of tools.
“I'm excited about destroying stuff, pretty much,” said Jesus Quezada.
“This will be fun,” added his partner Craig Roost. “I like to go to my basement and take stuff apart.”
Flegle instructed the students to wear safety goggles and gloves at all times and then set them off to experiment.
Soon the library was filled with sounds of bangs and laughter.
“This is just the start, the first year, and we're seeing what works right now,” she said. “It's a different way for the students to express their learning.”
Those interested in donating old electronics or supplies can contact Flegle at email@example.com.