Pennsylvania’s Montour Elementary School stands out even among schools that have embraced STEAM education, the maker movement, hands-on learning and augmented and virtual reality. So when the K–4 school opened the world’s first “Brick Makerspace” — a Lego Education-powered STEAM lab developed and implemented in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, Lego Education, parents, students and a local Barnes and Noble — it wasn’t just a one-off affair; rather, it was yet another advance in the school’s efforts to integrate principles of STEAM education throughout the curriculum.
“I believe makerspaces and STEAM education get students interested in learning at a very young age,” Jason Burik, co-principal at Montour Elementary, told THE Journal. “STEAM education challenges students to learn and apply content and skills with fun, real-life projects. Skills learned can later then be applied to almost any job. We wanted to create a unique learning space that kids would love coming to, something that no one else had, a room that would inspire students to become architects, engineers, designers, makers, and use problem-solving and critical thinking skills. We wanted a room that made students curious to learn and discover amazing things along the way.”