Today, it’s our 3rd-Grade teacher, Mrs. Rowlands who is in the Summer Spotlight. A founder and ongoing champion of the Makerspace here at Ascension, she is always looking for ways to cultivate opportunities for students to connect their learning to the real world. “Teaching at Ascension is exciting,” says Mrs. Rowlands, “because while we are exploring academic concepts, we are simultaneously learning about how God calls us to be leaders and servants in our world.” She finds that this approach inevitably sparks inspiration, creativity, and excitement in the students she is with, whether in 3rd grade or the Makerspace.
This summer Mrs. Rowlands will spend some time in Ohio celebrating her daughter who will be receiving her white coat as a Physician’s Assistant! A fun fact about Mrs. Rowlands is that she has run 7 marathons and hopes to run an international marathon sometime in the future. We are extremely blessed by her energy, creativity, and passion for teaching!
The Makerspace is a place for Ascension students to develop 21st-century skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, persistence, and collaboration through hands-on learning and exploration. Students have the opportunity to take learning to the next level as they create, invent, wonder, and tinker using a variety of tools and supplies. Students have access to maker materials like PVC piping, recyclables, craftsman tools, craft supplies, and technology equipment like robotics and coding devices.
Third-grade teacher, Kristen Rowlands, and Technology Director, Dr. Susanne Maliski, have spearheaded the development of the Makerspace in partnership with committed parent volunteers and with the support of the administration and teaching staff. Mrs. Rowlands began teaching at Ascension four years ago and was quickly amazed by the way the students at Ascension learn in different ways and have a desire to really explore their ideas. “What I have found as an educator is that when curiosity meets up with the right tools and a place just to investigate and create, that is where that authentic learning happens, and that’s the exciting learning community we have at Ascension,” explained Mrs. Rowlands, “with the Makerspace we can encourage students to explore their God-given gifts and take their learning to the next level.”
Goals for the Makerspace include enriching STEM experiences for students, offering opportunities for problem-based explorations, and ultimately, to inspire our students to realize their potential in using their critical thinking skills to address real-world problems. Grades TK-4 students spend maker/robotic time in small group rotations with a teacher and middle school students use the Makerspace to support classroom learning.
Discover some of the ways our students are using the Makerspace: