Following the completion of the CREATebrary last school year, the new room’s variety of resources and equipment are being used in multiple school projects by all types of classes. The concept started with media specialist Mrs. Pam Diianni’s belief in the importance of project-based learning and providing experiences for teachers and students. Late in the second semester of last year, Montour began looking into different types of technology to incorporate into the room that would make a variety of projects achievable.
Some of the current technologies found in the CREATebrary include a green screen, video editing software, circuit boards and a 3D printer. To learn about these technologies, Diianni has gone to training sessions, but has also learned a lot on her own along with her students.
All CREATebrary projects start with collaboration between Diianni and the teachers. Teachers bring their project ideas and how it needs to relate to the curriculum. Diianni filters their ideas with what's available in the room and uses her expertise with the technologies to help the students and teachers through the projects step by step.
Diianni and the teachers are always pleased with the results of these projects. She summarized that students are exposed to problem-solving and critical thinking in addition to fine-tuning creative skills.
Diianni said the CREATebrary “teaches skills that aren't necessarily teachable. You can’t teach creativity, you have to experience it.”
English teacher, Mrs. Nicole Kashmer, replaced a classic pen and paper final essay with a CREATebary project. The assignment was to recreate a scene from The Odyssey using art supplies and small machines such as servos, vibration motors and lights to add animated life to their scenes. The projects were graded on literary accuracy as well as programming success within the room. Over the past year, Mrs. Kashmer has seen a huge improvement in the quality of the students' work. She feels her students have reached a higher potential than they could have with the “pen and paper approach” and learned that it is okay to learn from students.
Mrs. Kashmer said “It lends itself to true collaboration among students.”
Science teacher, Mr. Jason Boring, took advantage of the CREATebrary as well. He used the room with both his Anatomy and Botany classes. The Botany class CREATebrary project was a replacement of the traditional midterm. Students had to create a biome that incorporated a food web and animations with the small machines.
The Anatomy class was given scenarios where students had to determine a diagnosis of either skin cancer or skin burns utilizing the CREATebrary tools.
Boring didn’t know what to expect from the experience in the room, but once he got in there with his students and started working he described it as having “wow factor.”
He was very pleased with the student involvement and interest in the CREATebrary projects and even personally learned new coding skills. The only thing Boring would do differently with future projects in the CREATebrary is spend more time there.