STEM

East Central U Adopts Makerspace for Teacher Training

East Central University in Oklahoma has deployed a makerspace lab in its Department of Education to teach practicing and preservice educators how to set up and facilitate a makerspace in the classroom.

The university formally opened its new Pitsco Maker Space Lab in August 2016. Harvey Dean, founder and CEO of Pitsco Education, is an alumnus of the university and donated the materials and tools for the lab. This summer, a group of teachers took part in the lab's first summer workshop, where they took on the role of students as they brainstormed solutions to an open-ended challenge.

The Pitsco Maker Space Lab includes Pitsco's Invention Explore-A-Pak and other hands-on learning kits designed by the company to help teach topics such as physical science, engineering, aerospace, structures and sustainable energy. The lab space itself is designed to provide flexibility with mobile tables, chairs, whiteboards and cabinets that can be reconfigured on the fly.

The university will use the space to hold workshops, courses and professional development events for both veteran and preservice teachers. "The Pitsco Maker Space kits will be used in Education Methods Classes as well as in collaborative activities with our area school partners," said Brenda Sherbourne, dean of ECU's College of Education and Psychology, in a news release. "By utilizing Maker Space products in our teacher education program we are preparing our pre-service teachers to provide challenging curriculum for P-12 area students."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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