In recent years, a new space within Malden High has been getting some special attention, Nedlam's Workshop, also known as the Makers Space. The school got the funding for this facility from Tufts University, with Brian Gravel taking the lead in getting it up and running.
Gravel has been partnered with Malden High for 14 years, during this time he has worked with numerous math and science teachers, encouraging them to question how they teach to better themselves. In 2014, Gravel received a grant from the Nation Science Foundation, the creation of the workers space went on till 2017. He is currently still partnered with Ms. Freeman, Ms. Brennan, Mr. Dias and Mr. Bazzinotti.
Gravel stated that Tufts became involved because “[they] wanted to know how designing and making things with technology could be a great way for more people to learn and find their passions in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art. [They] were also curious how the Makers Space might be a place for some students to really shine- to show off the cool things they could do- when in their classes this didn’t always happen. [Their] goals were to study how the Makers Space could give opportunities for all students to succeed in school.”
Tufts is still involved in not only the Malden High Schools workers space, but also with other Malden Public Schools. “[They] have a project right now working with teachers to think about how some of the ideas and tools in the Makers Space could be useful in science and math classrooms. [They’re] working with teachers at Malden High as well as teachers from Linden STEAM, Beebe, and Salemwood. [They] are always trying to support students and teachers in the Makers Space however [they] can.”
Since the Makers Space has been introduced at Malden High students have been falling in love with the hand on work and learning environment offered. The room is located in H103 and is run my Ms. Freeman. The class is open everyday from 2:15 to 3:00.
In H102 you will never be at a loss for equipment, this classroom is full of new machinery. Since the switch from wood shop to Makers Space with the help of Tufts, they have purchased a 3D printers, CNC mills, a laser cutter, as well as LEGO robotics equipment.
The Makers Space is a place for students to become creative, when advisor of the class Sarah Freeman was asked what type of work was done in this space she responded that “there are always different projects happening in here, different classes are welcome to use this classroom. Depending on the day [they] can have one period of math students in here and the next block [they’ll] have a science class down here.”
In addition, the skills that are taught in this room are different than the skills that are learn in any other classroom, here you have to take your skills of math, comprehension as well as the technique that is needed for the project. Kassandra Grant explained that, “[she thinks] that if [she ends] up majoring in engineering or graphic design, then that skills [she’s] learned from working with the machines will give [her] an advantage in the field. However, as for other skills, [she] definitely [thinks] that the skills [they have] learned with having to work with other people will better suit [them] in the future.”
There are many classes that students at Malden High are allowed to take within the Workers Space that will allow students to get outside the normal classroom setting. The resources provided within this room have not only helped students who take classes with Ms.Freeman. She explained that “all different things happen in here. This space is opened to any teachers or classes who are interested in using the space. There are English classes that have done projects in here, math classes. There are math classes that are coming here in a couple of weeks to do some projects.”
This space has been a great success with the students as well. It has created an environment for students to express themselves in different ways as well as learn while being in a fun environment. When asked about her experiences at the Makers Space, freshman Armani Dure mentioned that “[he likes] going down to Nedlam's Workshop because [he gets] to make all different types of amazing projects. [...] You never know what challenges you will face in the workshop, likewise, you never know what new ideas you will come up with for future projects.”
Students are very eager to come this space, it is full of excitement and endless possibilities.
Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly referred to Armani Dure as she.