South Nodaway kindergarten, first and second grade classes are in front of the makerspace project display they explored and developed.

South Nodaway faculty and administration are implementing Project-Based Learning (PBL) as a teaching tool for the first time during this school year.

PBL is a classroom approach in which students actively explore real-world problems and challenges. South Nodaway’s kindergarten, first and second grade classes worked together on a makerspace project. A makerspace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing.

Second grade teacher Stacey Moutray, first grade teacher Shayne Talmadge and kindergarten teacher Heather Heerlein proposed the makerspace idea to their classes.

The first step in the process was to discover what a makerspace is. The students visited the Jefferson C-123 makerspace. This sparked the students’ excitement and they researched to find out what they wanted in the makerspace.

The next step was to determine where in the school the makerspace could be placed.

Superintendent Johnnie Silkett recommended the Spanish room which is used for three classes per day. This classroom is in the ag building, which Silkett is hoping in the future to turn into a STEM center for all South Nodaway students.

After examining the Spanish room, the students worked on storage options. Another option the students liked was a Lego® wall. Each grade proposed a plan. The students met, reviewed each grade’s plan and then voted.

Their ideas for the makerspace were presented to the board of education on March 21. Silkett is hoping to build the makerspace during the summer, so the students will be able to utilize it during the 2019-20 school year.

Moutray said the project utilized learning standards the children need. Science, math, reading, writing, mapping with symbols and social interaction encompassed the learning aspects of the project.