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Grant brings tech tools to Elsmere Elementary

Filed in Archive, Elsmere by on January 6, 2020

A grant through Capital Region BOCES is providing technology tools to students and teachers at Elsmere Elementary School

In September 2019, the School Library System from Capital Region BOCES announced the INNOVATION! Grant application was open to school districts. The grant would provide School Library Innovation Carts to elementary and middle school libraries offering high-quality examples of hands-on learning, creativity and critical thinking.

Jaimee Meyer, school library media specialist at Elsmere Elementary, applied for the grant and was one of 15 to win the special cart.

“Twenty-first century skills include critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication,” said Meyer. “The tools included in the INNOVATION! Grant carts cover all of these.”

Students from Elsmere spend their recess time at the library to use these new ‘maker’ tools available to them. A Makerspace is any place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge.

Meyer said the materials and tools from the INNOVATION! Grant have greatly supplemented the maker inventory she was already building up for her students. The cart includes a variety of tools including robots and coding units, along with a guide book providing lessons and ideas on using the different tools.

Meyer has introduced the materials to each grade level and is planning a teacher open house to show all the teachers the tools available to them and discuss ways to incorporate them into classroom lessons. The cart is mobile so it will be easy to move from classroom to classroom.

Fourth-grade student, Cadence (pictured above), said “I like using the 3D pen because it makes me feel calm and relaxed.”

Other students are working with Tinkercad, an online 3D modeling program, and will print their creations on the 3D printer within the library. Some work with Makey Makey, an electronic invention tool that allows users to connect everyday objects to computer programs. One student, Andrew, used several pairs of scissors to code an animated cat to move around on the computer screen. Andrew said he loves the maker tools in the library because they’re really fun. He is also very interested in coding and these tools allow him to grow his knowledge.

“What I love about this, is that it’s all about taking chances,” said Meyer. “It allows students to try new things without timidity. We’re all really learning together—me, too!”

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