Makerspace and STEM SIG
MassCUE Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way to connect with other members in your region or your area of interest.
View the article below and learn more about how the Makerspace and STEM SIG helps members stay creative and cutting edge.
For educators responsible for Makerspace and STEM programs, innovation and creativity are part of the job description. But keeping up with the latest technologies and coming up with new ideas for projects and programs can be a challenge – especially if you are the only one in your school or even in your district who is doing this job. The MassCUE Makerspace and STEM Special Interest Group (SIG) gives these educators the opportunity to connect, share ideas and offer support. Makerspace and STEM SIG leader Heidi MacGregor, who is the K-5 STEM Integration Specialist for the Littleton Public Schools, says she gets a lot of benefits out of connecting with others who are doing the same job.
“I have amazing teachers and librarians and a tech director in my district that I can collaborate with,” says MacGregor. “But it’s really valuable to have that touch point with someone who is working toward the same goals in their school or district – someone who can help you see if you are on the right track.”
The SIG is also a great way to get ideas for projects to try in your school. MacGregor points to a meeting she attended where another educator was talking about wearables using conductive thread. Following that meeting, she purchased conductive thread for her district and had it on hand to give to a student who wanted to learn to sew.
“I had never heard of wearables before that meeting,” says MacGregor.
The Makerspace and STEM SIG meets monthly – alternating between meetings where they share projects and offer support and meetings where they might have a speaker or go on a field trip. The February 2022 meeting featured a virtual meetup with an expert in 3-D printing and the April 2022 meeting will focus on Rube Goldberg machines. The group will participate in a project-based learning demo from MassCUE partner Teq on iBlocks. Another field trip is tentatively planned to visit a facility where educators can buy scraps by the pound to replenish their makerspaces before the summer.
One of MacGregor’s goals for the SIG is to develop a peer network. She says one of the best things about it is that it’s a community of people who lean on each other.
“It’s a very organic process,” says MacGregor. “The people who come to the meetings determine the direction our discussions will take.”
To learn more about how you can join the Makerspace and STEM SIG or any other MassCUE SIG, visit the SIG page on our website.Print this post