What’s happening in The Collaboratory?

Since the very successful Colab 360 experiences and the Make-Do cardboard inquiry of Term 2, The Collaboratory has been far from quiet. Twice a week, ICT clubs take place where students are introduced to lots of exciting hardware and software and then encouraged to create rather than consume. The clubs are facilitated by myself and the incredibly talented, Mrs Peartree. Among projects the students are developing are: a stop-motion animation, 3D prints, an automated doll’s house, drone piloting and programming, a variety of robots and a wirelessly controlled floor cleaner that would give a Dyson a run for its money!

Classes are also attending the space on a weekly basis to develop new skills and practise existing ones. The Year 2s have been thinking about how schools might look in the future and are now using The Collaboratory to make 3D models of their designs. The Year 3s have a cross-curricular project planned and have been preparing for this by exploring different materials with which to create model trees, and the Year 4s are also embarking on a design project to assist humankind in natural disasters.

My favourite time of the day however, is lunchtime, when The Collaboratory is a hive of activity. Whether it’s students completing classroom or ICT club projects or embarking on developing other ideas, you will find children of all ages, communicating and helping each other, and generally tinkering around, making stuff. Timber boats appear especially popular at the moment and one is a work of art in balsa. But robots too never seem to go out of fashion in The Collaboratory, and students can successfully animate and code them using the many arduinos and accessories available. The students are often having so much fun, they forget that they are learning too.

Chris Boden
Co-ordinator of Creative Design & Scientific Thinking