• Jacqueline Whelan

The Outdoor Makerspace

Our first source of inspiration for our Outdoor Makerspace was the Ithaca Children’s Garden Hands-On-Nature Anarchy Zone, designed by renowned landscape guru Rusty Keeler. Looking to bring the benefits of outdoor programs such as Forest School to our students without the price tag, we decided to bring a little anarchy to our school yard. Luckily our principal was on board - he appreciated how cost-effective the program could be compared to installing traditional playground equipment. We also had support from the curriculum folks at the Board office.

The very first day we experimented with loose parts on the school ground of our public school in Ontario, we brought out an assortment of loose parts - cardboard, planks, wood cookies, buckets, tarps, etc. Some were purchased, others were donated (mostly from Joanne’s garage).

We had a hunch about the creative and imaginative ways the students used these everyday objects. But what was surprising was which students took the lead. Students who seemed to struggle within the confines of the classroom, were suddenly leading the charge!

And oh, just for fun… we invited a film crew to capture the day!

Have a look at the Outdoor Makerspace 1.0.

#gettingstarted #outdoormakerspace #riskyplay #play #STEMchallenges

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