Cambridge Friends School is delighted to be a recipient of a Charles and Miriam Avison Charitable fund award of $7,000 toward a CFS Maker-in-Residence program, for the 2016-2017 school year. The Maker-In-Residence program augments the CFS MakerSpace, by bringing outside makers and tinkerers to Cambridge Friends School.
Maker spaces are popping up all over the globe and differ radically in how they are configured and used. So, what makes the Cambridge Friends School MakerSpace unique? And, why are educators from as far away as Brazil, Egypt, and Los Angeles coming to see how the CFS MakerSpace works?
The answers to these questions lie in the history and mission of Cambridge Friends School. From the day the school opened, CFS faculty and students have been “making” as a way of learning, discovering, testing ideas, or just plain creating something from one’s imagination. It was not such a leap to conceive a space dedicated to the types of materials, equipment, and technology that would encourage faculty and students to explore topics and concepts in more depth.
There is a buzz of activity in the Cambridge Friends School iLab, as the youngest students, in pre-Kindergarten through grade two, try out their ideas and test the materials set up to spark their ingenuity and curiosity. After a brief explanation and demonstration of the items on the various tables, iLab co-curator and early childhood teacher Kevin Edmond steps back to let the students experiment and discover on their own. Observing how the students approach and interact with the materials, he notes what is working and how the stations could be set up differently in the future. Always a presence, Kevin hovers without intervening, in case students need his assistance.