University Child Development School designs a culture of inquiry essential to meaningful learning. We cultivate reflective, collaborative, skillful thinkers who ignite positive change in their communities. We engage diverse perspectives in an ongoing effort to shape and share our innovative education model.
Description of Maker Space
The Engineering and Design Garage (EDGe) at UCDS rebalances analog and digital technologies to enhance student creation both in physical and virtual realms. Computers share space with traditional shop tools, electrical engineering elements, as well as 3D printing stations. Arduinos and capacitors share space with fasteners and wood. A loft facilitates the use of a house made, vertical wind tunnel. Topping it off, a laser cutter sits ready to create wood-burned logos, print Dia de los Muertos images, and etch the back of aluminum phones and phablets with homemade insignia.
Description of Program
The Design and Technology Program at UCDS looks at technology through a design and engineering lens. We look at hands on projects and are able to explore the wide world of technology, which has become accessible for all ages. We’re engineering and combining science with art ideas, which is really interesting and really fun for the kids. There’s also this big, creative expression that starts to happen. In the old classroom, students learned software on computers and looked at some hardware. With the new space, we really get to explore those concepts in a much more hands-on and interactive way.
Examples of the how the Space is being used
The EDGe has been used to craft a number of projects from rockets and vacuum-pressed chocolate molds to laser etchings of scale model stools on both paper and wood. The space has allowed students preK-5th grade to move from 3D, hand-built analog models to 2D sketches back to 3D prints of miniature characters and geometric shape experiments. Both students and staff have been able to take steps through an idea-software-hardware design progression.
Future plans for the EDGe include the integration of a newer portion of the design space- the “TechDeck.” We’ve recently installed a weather station which will allow for some nice science integration, as well as plans for some gravity experimentation, and there’s even rumor of a possible greenhouse/horticulture space.