Focus on Innovation: MECC Makes Over Library to Include Makerspace “Dream Lab”

Focus on Innovation: MECC Makes Over Library to Include Makerspace “Dream Lab”
Posted on 09/14/2017

MECC Dream LabA section of the Mason Early Childhood Center’s library has been transformed into an exciting Makerspace and innovation lab area. The “Dream Lab” was born out of MECC educators’ desire to create an interactive space that encourages powerful learning across all disciplines and for all types of learners. The innovative space was made possible through a partnership with the Mason Schools Foundation, which is also working with other Mason school educators to expand innovative spaces through the district’s Innovative Catalyst Grants. Innovative Learning Coach Krissy Hufnagel spearheaded the project, and says that the Dream Lab encourages creativity, critical thinking, communication, and cooperation. “The DREAM stands for Design, Discover, Research, Read, Explore, Engineer, Author, Analyze, Make and Motivate!” explains Hufnagel. “In our Innovative Dream Lab we can solve challenges, read, write, design, create and engage in new learning.” The space includes a variety of zones and tools that allow the school’s learners to dream big - including a literacy zone, an engineering zone, a creator zone, a coding zone, a research zone, and a production zone. “Books and reading will always be at the heart of this space. Students use texts to inspire learning, encourage wonderings and support thinking. We’ve added a lego wall and magnetic boards where students can build prototypes and process their designs. Our creator zone has cardboard, colorful tape, pipe cleaners, ribbons and more so that kids can build their creations. Students learn to code in spaces with Bloxels, Cubelets, Dot & Dashes and other tools. An iPad research station allows students to learn more about their interests and wonderings. Students can record and share their ideas with the world using a green screen, mics and a stop motion animation app up in our loft,” shares Hufnagel. Chief Innovation Officer Jonathan Cooper said educators throughout the district are working to transform instructional experiences and spaces.


“We’re looking at the common spaces in all our schools and creating innovation incubators so that we can practice here. We’ll be seeing more of this in our district’s classrooms in the future. The vision is to give all our learners (and the community) access to these kinds of innovative spaces,” says Cooper.

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