At Seymour Elementary, students continue to learn even after the bell rings.
Maker Mondays, a club which meets every Monday after school, is aimed to help build students’ creativity and problem solving skills with a makerspace.
Makerspaces provide hands-on learning as well as encourage students to design, experiment and build with items that revolve around science, engineering and tinkering.
For 45 minutes, students take part in a variety of activities in the media room. From building with Legos and completing a mini circuit board to making little boats out of foil, students have several activities to choose from.
Alicia Wolles, Seymour Elementary media specialist, said the program was designed to give students new experiences.
“It gives kids opportunities they don’t necessarily have in class,” Wolles said. “It’s a chance for the kids to come in, explore something they wouldn’t normally do, but they are still using the skills they’ve learned during class.”
Seymour started Maker Mondays, which is open to third through sixth graders, last year. This year, the program has blossomed with more than 70 students.
“We knew we wanted to bring it back this year,” Wolles said.
Each week, Wolles said, activities change.
“It’s all based on what the kids are looking for,” she said.
Throughout club meetings, Wolles said the group discusses simple machines and the mechanics behind how things work.
“We give them a chance to get hands on experience,” she said.
One of the perks of managing the club, Wolles said, is seeing students’ enthusiasm each week.
“I love it. It’s exciting to see them get excited about learning,” she said.
Through Maker Mondays, Wolles wants students to learn how to work together.
“I hope they can learn a little more about working with each other,” she said. “That’s definitely a skill they are going to need as they grow.”
While teamwork is crucial, she also wants them to realize the importance of adversity.
“I also hope they have problem solving skills,” Wolles said. “If something doesn’t work, you can’t just give up, you’ve got to figure it out.”