Twenty-five Dallas ISD gifted/talented program teachers were chosen to take part in a makerspace cohort specifically geared towards gifted/talented education.
Teachers began their learning in May when they explored the Dallas Makerspace for adults located in Carrollton. From there, they met with a panel of makerspace experts from around the Dallas area to gather information and inspiration on designing their very only makerspace in their classrooms.
All cohort teachers went through an intensive two-day summer training where they defined their vision and goals, chose a program structure, and prepared for inclusivity while using the Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) curriculum.
“Every student is creative in some way and should be allowed to explore that creative side of their brain,” said Patricia Brimer, G/T Program Teacher at Stemmons Elementary. “The Makerspace units in our G/T classes will encourage students to be creative in a variety of ways. They will have hands-on activities, be able to brainstorm and design their own innovations, develop engineering skills, and engage in science explorations. Through makerspace, our students are being problem developers and problem solvers.”
Four teachers from the cohort were also granted a scholarship to attend the Stanford School K12 Lab Discover Design Thinking workshop in June.
“We came together with educators from all over the United States to learn about design thinking and how to apply it to the elementary makerspace. We learned by doing, experiencing the human-centered design process first-hand, as we pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zone,” said Gabrielle Herrera, G/T Program Teacher at Sudie L. Williams TAG Academy. “In teams, we went out into the world to conduct empathy interviews with Dallas residents to design a new city experience that solved problems such as how to preserve a neighborhood that is rapidly changing. The lessons we learned and the tools we gained will serve to strengthen our students’ creative confidence and build new opportunities in all areas of their learning.”