Inspired by the above quote, we, at Burke's, decided to take a hard look at our outdated technology labs and ask the hard question: “How can the labs be different?” What could we do that would emphasize “make” and “creativity?” What space could we design that would be nimble and fluid — a space that would allow for truly innovative teaching and would provide a space for “tinkering.”
Thanks to the funds raised at the Auction in 2013, we were able to think differently about our classrooms and how we teach in them. A team of teachers, technology professionals and administrators sought to create a space that would ENCOURAGE and EMPOWER the girls to take risks and to use a variety of skills related to STEM to design, prototype, and even fail at their projects. This discussion brought about The Makery.
The Makery, a play off of “bakery,” is equipped with two labs that are not restricted to certain grade levels, but are used in relation to the nature of the projects the girls are working on. "Makery Down" (bottom floor workshop) is more media based, while "Makery Up" (top floor workshop) is more construction/building based. This structure allows our students — across grade levels — to model their work for each other in a collaborative, open environment. There is also an elevator connecting the spaces, allowing for even more flexibility with large-scale projects, as well as “Z” walls to promote an infinite number of configurations of space within the rooms.
Our ultimate goal with the Makeries, as it is in all endeavors at Burke’s, is to create a joyful learning environment for the girls that promotes creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking. Through these spaces and our talented faculty we hope to create a “culture” for the girls that supports the idea that anything is possible, and that the girls will become more confident and more engaged in their own learning, something that can be applied to their experiences at Burke’s and beyond.