Makerspaces stand tall at the budding academic intersection of innovation, play and traditional education. As more and more schools join the maker movement, educators are launching new kinds of learning labs, allowing students to guide themselves through hands-on projects that blend core curriculum concepts with future-ready skills. The maker movement builds skills like collaboration, problem-solving, real-world learning, the value of failure, perseverance and creativity—all of which enable students to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.
Some schools have built brand new labs to house 3D printers, laser cutters, drones, screen printers, CAD terminals and other equipment. In other places, makerspaces occupy corners of classrooms or take over libraries.
This round of Schools of TechXcellence honorees showcases innovative approaches to math instruction, from establishing math literacy programs for English language learners to programming robots and developing video games. Schools are also flipping classrooms, while districts are providing professional development to better integrate technology with math instruction. The addition of technology to mathematics instruction has changed that, offering new approaches and tools to better clarify concepts. Gamified instruction and blended learning infuse innovation into math instruction, helping to improve test scores and enthusiasm for learning.