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March 6, 2019
Creative Learning at Murphy Elementary


Two smiling girls with iPad OsmoLegos, iPads, and excited chattering - it’s not what everyone expects to see when they enter a school library. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the Media Center at Murphy Elementary.

With the help of the ISD 318 Endowment Fund and Murphy Principal Sean Martinson, Amy Savela, the Media Specialist for Murphy Elementary School, has created a makerspace in the media center that allows for the kids to work together to learn, collaborate and share. “The Murphy Makerspace is a creative space where making mistakes and learning from them is encouraged,” said Savela.

Kids are able to create items with simple tools; work with Legos or Magna-Tiles to create detailed structures; and use iPads to work on math skills, reading skills, or even coding; all in addition to the traditional books available in the media center. 

Creating a makerspace in the media center hasn’t taken away from reading, either. “We have a number of books related to the activities that the kids are completing in the makerspace. And, we still check-out and read books together. But now, I’m seeing a greater excitement when kids come to the media center,” said Savela.

Makerspaces are created as a place where kids can work together, collaborate, and learn. These spaces are designed to help kids problem-solve in teams, preparing them for future careers that may not yet exist. Today, kids need to move beyond core subjects like math and reading to critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, digital literacy, and problem-solving skills. Makerspaces are just one way that education is changing to meet those needs.

The new elementary schools and the remodeled Cohasset Elementary are all planned to include makerspace classrooms for our students. These spaces will help create our future leaders. “I see many kids taking on leadership roles and helping others when they are struggling,” finished Savela.

More information about the elementary school construction, including renderings of the new makerspaces, is available on the district website at isd318.org under the Facility Plan tab.