Welcome to Bethel's Media Center & Makerspace
Bethel's Media Center is a thriving, exciting learning space filled with opportunities for growth. Our programs are designed to foster a strong engineering mindset through a can-do/how-do approach to hands on learning.
Our library commons is an active, vibrant "fifth space" that provides young people with a place to gather that is neither home nor quite school, a place where they can simply be themselves. Our Makerspace offers SnapCircuit electronic and Magform magnetic kits, hand crafts, paper crafts, fiber crafts, simple robotics, and technology based tools such as MakeyMakeys, and Little Bits circuits. Thanks to a grant from GearUp, we also have a wonderful 3D printer (and a long list of print requests)! Our Lego and K'nexx sets are also very well used, and our little ones love making elastic loom band bracelets and necklaces, as well as beading.
The Robotics/STEM program we run out of the Media Center offers students opportunities for hands on learning with Lego Mindstorm Robotics and Hummingbird Robotics kits. We also provide opportunities to work with coding using Arduino kits, and students learn to draw electric circuits with our CircuitScribe design kit. Computer based learning opportunities abound with TinkerCad (for computer assisted drafting and design) and Scratch (for coding and game creation). Students are expected to create, design, modify, and/or engineer a wide variety of practical, decorative, and/or innovative products over the span of the year long class. Fun is a big part of our agenda, as our marshmallow cannon makers would attest!
In addition to our Makerspace and Robotics/STEM programs, we also have upgraded our library and computer lab desktops to install MinecraftEdu, one of the most powerful and positive learning games on the market. While it is extremely popular in the morning Library Commons time, MinecraftEdu is also finding its way into classroom instruction, here at Bethel, with teachers using MinecraftEdu to teach about Biomes, Ancient Civilizations, and Utopian Communities. MinecraftEdu can in fact be used to teach across the curriculum, providing a highly engaging forum for students to learn math, science, language arts, and socials.
While technology is an important part of our program here in the Media Center, traditional print literacy is still very much a focus! Our efforts to expand and improve our book collection are ongoing, and have been the focus of a number of grant applications in 2015/16. Reading is a vital skill and it is essential that we provide quality, up to date reading material for our students across the entire span of grades that we serve here at Bethel. In order to ensure that our students have focused literacy oriented library time, we have scheduled both literacy and maker times for classes to visit the library. Younger students often participate in story times, older students enjoy opportunities to develop both digital and print literacies, and both have ample time to explore the book collection and check out quality reading material to take home.
The Media Specialist is always available to answer questions about the Media Center and our programs, and has created a warm and welcoming atmosphere that both parents and children seem to truly enjoy.