This week we went to Logan to visit CacheMakers, an Makerspace lab for students. While we were there we interacted with Girls Space Science, a group of 11-17 year old girls, who are learning about coding and programming. Kevin Reeve, from Utah State University, leads the club through a series of different projects that involve electronics, engineering, and a variety of other STEM skills. While we were there the girls were building high frequency attennas, with the purpose of tracking a remote beacon. The girls assembled their attennas using a combination of PVC pipe, hose clamps, sections of a tape measure, and a saudered radio wire. Once compelte, everyone used their attennas to find a hidden beacon in a nearby field.
It was an incredible experience to see these girls working through complex problems with minimal adult interference (I mean help). They were awesome. It was a collaborative evnironment, as the girls all pitched in to help one another as they built their projects and performed the tasks. I can only imagine the impact that CacheMakers is having in the lives of their participants. I know it certainly opened my eyes to the potential of having Makerspaces as part of our learning environments.