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Maker Lab

Dewey’s Maker Lab enhances the school’s focus on critical thinking and problem-solving

At Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School, creativity and ingenuity fill the school’s very own Maker Lab, a space where students are empowered to create and build. 

Dewey's maker lab is a unique space for the school, where teachers take their students during class time to develop and complete hands-on projects. These lessons are supported by a supply of specialty materials, tools and a dedicated instructor, Kristin Janeway, who first introduced the idea of the Maker Lab through a weekly afternoon Junk Club.

“I saw during Junk Club over the years that we ran it, that kids love working with materials. They love working with tools, they love using hot glue guns and they love just creating,” said Janeway. “We were working with a small group of students for 30 minutes on Friday afternoon and I wanted the whole school to experience that.”

The skills learned in Maker Lab go well beyond the projects that are worked on during the sessions. Classroom teachers also join in and work alongside Janeway to help students improve their social-emotional skills such as empathy, patience and perseverance.

Janeway explains that the skills developed in the Maker Lab are preparing students for other lessons in their regular classroom environment. “And the teachers are able to use the skills that the kids are learning in here and take it to their classroom. And so everybody is moving back into the classroom together. They are able to take those skills into a reading lesson, into a math lesson,” she said. 

Learn more about the Maker Lab in this short video.

Dewey's Maker Lab