Pennsylvania School Parents Launch Maker Space Tech Library

The lending library, funded with $16,000 from the Pivik Elementary Parent Teachers Association, will allow elementary students to borrow technology that includes drones, a laser cutter, robotic toys, digital apps and more.

by Michael DiVittorio, The Tribune-Review / June 28, 2019

(TNS) — Pivik Elementary students should see some new technology in the coming school year thanks to their parents.

The Plum school’s PTA pulled about $16,000 together toward a new “maker space lending library.”

The equipment is expected to be ordered throughout the summer and ready for rollout in the fall.

Proposed technology includes drones, a laser cutter, robotic toys, digital apps and more. The district recently accepted the PTA’s donation.

“It’s because of the hard work and generosity of Pivik’s families that the money was available to support this initiative for our students,” said Pivik Principal Kristen Gestrich.

A maker space is typically a designated area in a school where students can use their creativity and imagination to create and use technology that’s designed for bringing ideas to life.

“In Pivik’s case, we are sharing this technology and equipment with all of our staff and students. So instead of one space to share, we are using a ‘lending library’ so that each and every classroom can be a maker space.”

Pivik has more than 700 students that will eventually benefit from the new maker space.

Gestrich said it gradually will be made available to all grade levels.

PTA President Erin Hill said the group did not specifically raise money for the maker space. The donation included funds accumulated through the years.

“It became apparent that our Pivik families were awesome fundraisers,” Hill said. “We could provide students and staff with the events, supplies, and other things we have in the past and add a number of other good things, including a scholarship for a former Pivik student, lights for some of our events and teacher use, and maker space supplies.”

Hill, who has a son going into fourth grade and a daughter starting kindergarten at Pivik this coming school year, commended the principal, parent Michelle Stepnick and teachers Colleen Spears and Ann Cole for working with the PTA in creating the project proposal and getting it fully funded.

“I think this will bring much needed STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) supplies to Pivik,” Hill said. “I’m so excited for students to have the opportunity to learn with this equipment and what this space evolves into over the years.”

Gestrich echoed Hill’s excitement.

“It is a challenge in education to keep up with ways to keep children engaged in learning,” the principal said. “These tools will allow our students to learn, create, and design from their own ideas. We teach them the basics and then these tools open their minds to create, based on their learning.

“I can’t wait to see what the kids can do/create when we get these tools in their hands. The possibilities are endless.”

©2019 The Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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