Making “Makers” at Washington Drive

Making “Makers” at Washington Drive photo

Washington Drive Primary held a special ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Makerspace, which has long been in the works, on Nov. 8. The school was honored by the presence of Mr. Roger Tilles, who represents Long Island on the New York State Board of Regents at the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with Superintendent Dr. Francesco Ianni and other district administrators.

Students lined the halls outside the space, peering in, eager to explore what the room had to offer. Once a few students assisted Dr. Ianni in cutting the room’s ribbon, students poured in. The students treated those in attendance by singing the school’s theme song to christen the room. First grade teacher Melinda O’Donoghue explained to the students what a makerspace was, and how fortunate they were to have such a space that most primary schools don’t have.

Students were then released to explore all of the items within the space, where they tinkered with the Lego wall, programming robots, and more. Mr. Tilles spent some time interacting with the children, encouraging them to be creative, and reading them a few inspiring poems by various authors, including Shel Silverstien.

Creating this unique space that enables students to explore creativity and innovation aligns with the district’s goal to maximize student opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). These spaces, which are a part of the “Maker Movement”, incorporate all of those areas in a new and fun way.

“Watching small ideas turn into tangible experiences for our students is such a source of pride for us,” said Dr. Ianni.

The Makerspace, which was made possible by a grant gifted to the school by the Harborfields Community Educational Foundation (HACEF), was dreamed up and made into reality by Assistant Principal Kathryn McNally, Interim Principal Kelly Fallon, Karin Fey, Co-President of HACEF and others.

“Makers are needed to add to the global sum of human knowledge,” said Mrs. McNally, “so we’re starting now!”

Additionally, we would like to recognize the staff members who were instrumental in bringing the Washington Drive Makerspace to our students. A special thank you to Melinda O’Donoghue, Christopher Maresco, Guy Semione, Joey Rice and Jimmy Brauer for all their efforts!