When FMS Librarian Tinese Ammons noticed that students who finished their work were struggling to keep themselves occupied, she decided to construct a room for them to visit, play games, build models, create art and more to decompress while still learning.
In 2015, Ammons won a grant through the Frenship Foundation to start working on the Curiosity Room. She turned part of the library’s office space into the room for students and started collecting board games and other activities for students to use when visiting the makerspace.
Due to its size, Ammons decided to create two passes for each FMS teacher to use for their students. Once a student has finished their work, they can use the pass to come to the Curiosity Room for a certain amount of time as determined by the teacher.
The greatest thing about the passes, Ammons said, is that students from all three grades will be in the room at the same time and will begin to know each other.
“We’ll have one sixth grade student, one seventh grade student and one eighth grade student in here at the same time, and due to the space, they’ll begin to talk, get to know each other and then work together on whatever project or activity they are doing at that time,” she said. “It creates a sense of teamwork and helps build relationships simply by students just being in here at the same time. It’s truly amazing to see these students getting to know one another through these activities.”
Ammons said students will constantly be in and out of the Curiosity Room every day and she is glad there has been such a great response to the room.
“It ebbs and flows throughout the year,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll have an influx of math students, then science, or reading due to where they are in the curriculum for the year. Our teachers, though, have been wonderful about sending their students down here.”
Makerspaces have exploded in popularity over the past few years and provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they engage in activities.
Elements of a makerspace is not solely a science lab, workshop or art room, but it contains things found in familiar spaces and has a wide range of tools and materials. This can include electronics, pencil and paper, games, everyday household projects and more.
See the pictures below to see what other types of activities are included in the Curiosity Room.