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Valley Stream 30 believes that each child should be encouraged to “think outside the box” as to the contributions she/he can make towards enhancing the 21st century locally and globally. Our “enrichment for all” curriculum has invested in “makerspaces” which allow students to engage in 4Cs Challenges in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) which foster Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critically thinking skills in workspaces inside their classroom and library. 


These spaces provide students with an array of high tech to no tech tools to create innovative designs out of nothing and exploring their own interests when solving real-world problems. Students are inspired to “think outside the box” using the 5Es Instructional Model which allow them to Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate using and building on their prior knowledge and experience, to construct meaning, and to continually assess their understanding of a concept.  

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Below are some of high tech to no tech tools in our “makerspaces”

makerspace supplies image   MakerSpace Supplies – An array of supplies such as hammers, measuring tape, nails, screwdrivers, cardboard boxes, glue, rulers, rubber bands, recycled materials, etc. are essential to inspire new creations.
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  littleBits – These are electronic building blocks that connect using magnets. These blocks allow you to create inventions large and small.  Each bit is color-coded and has a distinct function. Great for developing critical thinking and fostering teamwork.
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  Cubelets – Robot blocks that are connected together using magnets.  No coding experience is needed.  Snap the robot blocks together and the magnetic faces do the rest.  Every unique arrangement creates a new robot with different behaviors.
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  Keva Planks – Wooden planks designed to allow students to create and build structures such as towers, bridges, catapults and more.  Keva planks are a great solo or teamwork STEAM activity and help to encourage critical thinking skills.
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  Real-World STEAM Challenge Kits – Kits specially developed to help children think like real scientists and engineers as they explore the STEAM design process and solve problems. Students plan, build and test their designs, then improve them until they are successful. Students also explore potential STEAM careers which apply what they learned to the real world!
  3D Doodler – Printing device that can be used within minutes, without needing any technical knowledge, software or computers. Compact and easy to use, the 3Doodler allows students to literally draw in the air – whether freestyle 3D sketching or tracing shapes from templates to make larger structures and objects.
 superzoob   ZOOB – Based on a natural and living system and features pieces that snap, click or pop together in different ways, making building easy and versatile.  ZOOB building sets are unique in that the pieces move after they are put together, allowing for truly interactive creations.
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  Game Builders – Students use and strengthen math skills, logic skills, communication skills, concentration and critical thinking skills, problem solving and creative thinking – all in the context of learning how to design and program video games!  Students gain a working knowledge of the skills and tools necessary to design and develop video games.  Students learn how to use Game Maker software and graphics programs. They are also introduced to the fundamentals of animation for use in their games.
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  The LEGO® Education WeDo introduces young students to robotics. Students build LEGO models featuring working motors and sensors; program their models; and explore a series of cross-curricular, theme-based activities while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as language, literacy, and social studies.

Here are a few “makerspace” 4C’s Challenges, which students experience throughout the school year:

  • Create a pet treat launcher: to “launch” treats for your pet to catch. Possible supplies include a length of Duck® tape, craft sticks, a plastic spoon, and more.
  • Make a box into a game: Possible supplies include pom poms, straws, Duck® tape, recycled boxes and more.
  • Build a pyramid: Possible supplies include straws, craft sticks, Duck® tape, recycled boxes, building blocks, and more.
  • Create a 12” tall basket: Possible supplies include newspaper, plastic shopping bags, straws, craft sticks, pom poms, blocks, and more.
  • Create a marionette creature: Possible supplies include recycled materials, craft sticks, yarn, string, wooden dowels, blocks, pom poms, and more.
  • Create your own marble run: Possible supplies include recycled paper tubes, wooden dowels, plastic cups, plastic spoons, craft sticks, yarn, straws, and more.
  • Take something apart and build it into something new.
  • Use the supplies in the pack to create an everyday object out of something unexpected. (i.e., a pom pom birdhouse). Does not need to be functional unless that is part of the challenge!
  • Create an imaginary animal: Possible supplies include craft sticks, chenille stems, Duck® tape, and assorted wood pieces. Once the animal is created, tell or write a story about it!
  • Create footwear: Possible supplies include Duck® tape, wood blocks, recycled materials, cord, pom poms, chenille stems, and more!


For more information
Contact our Enrichment Teachers:

Ilissa Epstein: