‘Make Lab’ Serves as Hub for Innovation and Creativity
Union Township Middle School (UTMS) students have an innovative new Make Lab class on their schedules this school year. Make Lab is a non-graded course that invites all middle school students to tap into their creative side, improve problem-solving skills and to explore and grow in a variety of areas including art, music, science and technology.
Ms. Nikki DiSanto, Mr. Dave Knoble, Ms. Missy Knoble and Ms. Rachel Werder comprise the UTMS Make Lab team of teachers who will lead the students through a diverse exploratory experience. “Our talented group of teachers are ready to expose our students to a wide range of hands-on activities, including projects that focus on the design process, as well as exploring empathy and environmental issues. We’re excited to watch our students create and explore using all of the new resources that the Make Lab course offers,” says Fran Suchovic, Principal of Union Township Middle School.
In the Make Lab, UTMS students will rotate through stations where they can build with LEGO® bricks and create HEXBUG mazes to strengthen their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills. Students will also sharpen their engineering skills by building Rube Goldberg machines, contraptions designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and more complicated manner. Makey Makey Kits are easy-to-use invention kits that students will also be using in their Make Lab course.
“Our Make Lab course is an exciting complement to the middle school curriculum as it will encourage the creative and strategic thinking skills that our students need to be successful in school and in their future careers,” says Nicholas Diaz, Superintendent of Union Township Schools.
Initial plans to implement a makerspace were included in #VISION2023, a five-year strategic plan that highlights innovation, collaboration and leadership. The #VISION2023 comprises three main themes which include college and career readiness, improving the school experience and school facilities.