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Strawberry Point’s makerspace inspires hands-on learning

Garrison Ryder Violich (front) and Cameron Russell draft a plan to build a ‘better telephone’ last month in the makers lab at Strawberry Point Elementary School. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

For Strawberry Point Elementary School fourth-grader Kai Horngrad, failure isn’t such a bad thing when working on an engineering project in the school’s new makerspace.

“If you fail, it’s kind of funny,” Kai says as he and his classmates paired up to design telephone prototypes out of paper cups and string.

Over an hour, the fourth graders tested out cups of different materials and shapes to see what worked best to send the sound waves to their partner.

“What’s the worst that can happen? We fail and try something else,” fourth-grade teacher Nikki Borella reminds them.

The new makerspace at Strawberry Point opened its doors last fall after Borella was inspired during a visit to the Design 39 Campus in San Diego, which focuses on the use of technology, design and hands-on learning in its curriculum.

“(Design 39 Campus) changed my perspective on adding engineering to every subject,” Borella says.

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