West Grove >> Avon Grove School District (AGSD) is setting the standard in STEM education. The July 2018 edition of District Administrator, a National Publication for School Administrators, has recognized AGSD as a District of Distinction in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for its innovative use of makerspaces.
A makerspace is a DIY lab where classes or individuals can create, invent and learn. Students have access to various tools including interactive virtual reality kits, invention tools, electronic and circuit kits, drones and interactive robots. In the 2015-16 school year, AGSD created a makerspace in Avon Grove Intermediate School’s library. In 2017, Penn London Elementary received their own makerspace. As an innovative addition to the classroom, teachers are the coaches of these spaces, encouraging and supporting students on their path toward creative solutions. AGSD Director of Technology Gary Mattei emphasizes the value of student access to makerspaces, “Get STEM tools in the hands of students and give them a problem to solve and they will simply amaze you.”
In addition to classroom use, the makerspaces have hosted open houses for students, parents and the community, and the District has been overwhelmed with their success. After a senior citizen demonstration of the virtual reality systems, Mattei noted, “Attendees were overwhelmed as they explored the solar system, the Great Barrier Reef and Egyptian pyramids, while never leaving their seat.”
To learn more about the makerspaces or to schedule a tour, contact AGSD Director of Technology Gary Mattei at GMattei@agsd.org or 610-869-2441.