Douglas Grafflin Makerspace

Westorchard Makerspace


  • Simply put, makerspaces are community centers with tools and materials that allow students to solve problems and answer questions through design solutions, prototypes, creating, revising, collaborating, researching and solving their identified problem.

  • Makerspaces combine hi-tech and low-tech equipment, with the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) for the purposes of enabling community members to share ideas and collaboratively work on projects that wouldn’t have been possible to create without the resources available in the Makerspace and if the individuals were only working alone.

  • These spaces encourage students to fail, struggle, make mistakes, and persevere.  The students are taught the Design for Learning principles (shown below) as well as encouraged to look at their "failures" as opportunities for learning and growing.


STEAM: STEAM is the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

Design Process: The process of creating through defining a problem, developing a solution, testing a design, improving the design, and applying their learning.  

Engineering: The branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures.

FAIL: Philosophy of the MakerSpace- First Attempt In Learning

Prototype: A first model of something from which other forms are developed or copied.

Maker Books We Love!


“The Dot” by Peter Reynolds

“ish…” by Peter Reynolds

“Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis

“Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis

“Copper Nickle The Invention” by Wouter van Reek

“If I Built a Car” by Chris Van Dusen

“If I Built a House” by Chris Van Dusen

“Anything is Possible” by Giulia Belloni

“The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires

“Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding” by Linda Liukas

"Iggy Peck Architect" by Andrea Beaty

"Rosie Revere, Engineer" by Andrea Beaty

"Duct Tape Projects you can create"

"What Do You Do with an Idea?" by Kobi Yamada

Coding Resources

  • Content


What is Code?

"Code" refers to the creation of a computer program using a computer language.  A computer program is a sequence of instructions to enable to the computer to do something such as run a game, communicate an idea, or play media.  

Why Code?

More programmers are needed in the world.  Many economists point to innovation as an important factor for the development of the world's economy and programmers and/or engineers will be necessary to help create and develop those innovations. Many industry leaders point out that while there are more jobs available for programmers, increasingly there are fewer programmers to hire than ever before.  Many people believe that an increased education in computer science will not only help close this gap but also encourage the development of new innovations with technology. Beyond an economic rationale, however, experience with programming has many educational benefits for students.

  • Applying mathematical concepts such as measurement, logical reasoning, algorithmic requirements, and analysis in an authentic way.
  • Developing resilience in students through trial and error, troubleshooting, and "debugging" programs.  Programming helps students view an error as an "iteration" rather than a failure.
  • Developing collaborative and communication skills as students teach and learn from one another as they code as a group.
  • Developing critical and creative thinking as students analyze, solve problems, and design programs.
  • Having fun! There are many different apps and programs that make the experience of coding more like solving a puzzle and creating art.  

We're finding that more students are interested in coding because it provides a challenge that's engaging for students!

Is Coding For Everyone?

Like any other subject area or topic, some students will find that coding is an area that they are excited about while others may not. Too much of one thing or forcing one to do something limits a person to an extent. The elementary technology committees feel it's important for all students to have some experience with "computational thinking" and exposing students to coding can help all our students develop as many tools or "languages" that will enable them to further create, make, express, and communicate ideas.