Academy Staff Take Part in Mixxer Makerspace Workshops

Academy at Middle Fork staff are taking workshops offered by Mixxer Makerspace, a community maker space for technology & fabrication enthusiasts, this fall. By definition, a maker space is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.

“One of our new initiatives this year is STEM education and the development of maker spaces in our classrooms,” said Interim Principal Amie Snow. “To do this well, we wanted our staff to engage in activities that allowed them to think creatively and critically.” 

“Our hope is that this experience will help us create an environment for our students to be innovative in their own classroom-based maker space,” she added.

Each staff member will have an opportunity to attend a workshop. 

Learning something new for the classroom

STEM teacher, Allison Phelps, enrolled in the scratch block carving and iron pouring workshop, which included carving a design and then pouring iron into the design to create unique pieces of cast iron art. 

“It was exciting to see and hear everyone's views on different types of art,” said Phelps. 

Iron Yosef

She plans to attend another workshop, specifically the Intro to 3D Printing. The Academy is in the process of adding a 3D printer to the STEM lab.

“I feel all of the workshops would be beneficial to myself as the STEM teacher because they allow for different levels of creativity in various crafts and skills,” she added.

School Counselor, Elif Erginer, and Media Assistant, Ayden Tackett, took the leatherworking workshop.


“I think the workshop was a balance of enjoyable and a bit of problem-solving, so the lesson for me is to create experiences in my small groups, classroom lessons, and individual sessions that mimic that balance,” said Erginer. “I would like to challenge students to learn and grow through fun, creative activities.”

For Tackett, they learned a valuable lesson about perfectionism. “I'll be sure to teach students that mistakes are a vital part of the learning process and encourage them to move past their mistakes.” 

“Things don't have to be perfect to be worthy of their pride,” they added.

Team building is part of learning

Both Exceptional Children Teacher, Denisse Alvarez, and Teacher Assistant, Jessica Hill, took the laser cutting pumpkin boxes workshop.

Pumpkin Boxes

“It was a fun evening learning how to use a new platform to design and to then create,” said Hill. “I didn't realize how long - 12 minutes per box - it took to generate a project after it was set up with the laser cutter.”  

“It was enjoyable and a fun way to learn something new with the staff,” added Alvarez.

Pumpkin Blocks
Published: Oct 20, 2021 12:01pm