Tozer Primary School students invent ways to help others with lunchtime makerspace program | MyWindsorNow.com

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Tozer Primary School students invent ways to help others with lunchtime makerspace program

How to help

Tozer Primary School’s makerspace program lets students design and build inventions to help others in their school.

Students build everything with donated materials.

Anyone who wants to learn how they can help support the primary school makerspace program or donate materials to it should call the school at (970) 686-8400 and ask about the makerspace program.

Despite increasingly warm weather, a group of first- and second-grade students at Tozer Primary School worked to finish their igloo Tuesday.

It's made of gallon milk jugs, but the students are excited about it all the same.

Since winter break, a group of students have been using their Tuesday lunch time to work on the structure. When they're done, it'll become a special reading space for students who reach their reading goals.

It's one of several projects the group of students has been hard at work on this year. All the projects are student-led and in some way aim to improve the school or help someone out.

“It’s all about building, creating and problem-solving. It’s also to improve the world. That sounds global, but it’s (about) how can we improve someone’s life.” Tammy RandleEnrichment teacher

That's the goal of the school's makerspace program, said Tozer enrichment teacher Tammy Randle: Let students make things they want to and help others in the process.

The program started this year and lets any first- and second-grade students who want to stay in from lunch on Tuesdays work on various projects. Although community volunteers act as mentors for the students, the kids get to pick what they work on and how they'll go about making their ideas become a reality, she said.

"It's all about building, creating and problem-solving," Randle said. "It's also to improve the world. That sounds global, but it's (about) how can we improve someone's life."

The projects have varied from building a book and work stand for students in wheelchairs to designing a buddy bench and even creating a marble run (students earn tickets to use it by being nice to each other).

In most cases, the students' original ideas require some tweaking, but that gives them chances to learn, Randle said. The kids try something out, encounter a problem and then try to find their own solution to it.

Students work entirely with donated materials, and Randle always is on the lookout for more things students might be able to use in their projects. She particularly needs hot glue gun sticks after the igloo project. She joked her classroom looks more like a garage right now with all the projects and materials in it.

Volunteer mentors help find some of the supplies, too. Ivan Adams, a volunteer and Windsor town board member, said he went to local coffee shops to find old gallon milk jugs for students to use.

Adams said it's fun for him. He likes seeing what ideas the students have and helping them bring them into reality.