A New Direction for Maker Spaces

For the past five years I’ve seen the growth of Maker spaces throughout Western Pennsylvania. Each space has a different focus and configuration. The Montour School District has taken the concept in a new direction – a LEGO Maker space for K-4 students. According to Justin Aglio, Director of Academic Achievement and Innovation for the Montour School District, “The Brick Maker space at Montour Elementary School is a learner-centered pace giving students opportunities to design, make, and think creatively.”

“Supporting Montour Elementary School’s new Brick Maker space with our LEGO Education solutions is a natural collaboration as we share the same priorities of student-centered learning and the dedication to sparking and engaging the innate curiosity of every student with hands-on playful learning tools,” said Silver McDonald, Head of LEGO Education North America. “We look forward to seeing what the students using the new space will imagine, build and create for years to come, and how the 21st Century Skills they are acquiring will inspire and equip them for their future careers.”

Justin Aglio added, “The new Maker space will focus on enhancing children’s spatial, fine motor, social, language and creative skills through activities using a variety of LEGO Education solutions including LEGO Education WeDo 2.0, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3, LEGO Education Simple and Powered Machines, and more.  These solutions will also help students learn important lessons in science, technology, art, math, language arts, architecture and engineering.” In addition, the new LEGO Education Maker activities will be utilized throughout the experience. The school hopes to inspire students to design and make amazing creations at each of the following stations:
Animation Studio, Library, Test Track, Architecture, Engineering and Collaborative Building Center.

“At Montour, we like to use the learning terms “hands-on, minds-on” for tactile educational activities that spark motivation and excitement. The new Brick Maker space powered by LEGO Education solutions is certainly an inspiring environment where our kids can imagine, design, create, and share ideas with one another.  The interplay of imagination and education is really what makes this space so special,” said Dr. Christopher Stone, Superintendent of the Montour School District.

The room concept was the creation of Jason Burik, Co-Principal at Montour Elementary School and Justin Aglio.  The construction of the Maker space was a collaborative effort between Montour students, parents, teachers, administrators, LEGO Education, Carnegie Mellon University, Barnes and Noble, and Parkway West Career and Technology Center.

Jason Burik and Jason Shoaf, Co-Principals at Montour Elementary School are excited about the
support of LEGO Education.  Burik is a world-renowned LEGO artist who has created LEGO
masterpieces for Google, Stanford University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Cisco,
Nationwide Insurance, NCAA, NFL, MLB, and NHL professional sports teams. Shoaf is a Maker
at heart and has always enjoyed learning through the connection of kinesthetic movement.
“LEGO and making has always been a passion of ours, and now with the assistance of LEGO
Education, we are able to combine the two and provide students a unique and engaging learning
experience,” said Burik and Shoaf.

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