Students and teachers of St. Leo the Great’s School worked with RAFT and community members to create a Makerspace for the school in May 2018, and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday August 22,2018.

SAN JOSE, CA, August 24, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — This past Wednesday marked the culmination of a longtime partnership between St. Leo the Great School in downtown San Jose and RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching) in the design and building of a custom Makerspace for the school in May 2018.

The makerspace was built on May 16, 2018 by St. Leo’s 7th and 8th grade students with support from RAFT staff, teachers, parents, and volunteers. The Makerspace will serve as a legacy gift from the 8th grade class to provide future students the opportunity to engage in a variety of hands-on learning activities. Students will enjoy a space devoted to tinkering with ready access to tools, materials, and a wealth of supplies to participate in STEAM activities.

Makerspaces provide an opportunity for students to engage in hands-on learning to experiment, build, and invent as they participate in STEAM projects and curriculum. Students of St. Leo’s engaged in hands-on learning in the very creation of the Makerspace in May by building the tables, storage shelves, and tool walls that will outfit the space for future students.

The newly built Makerspace will continue to be restocked by RAFT’s supply of donated materials from Silicon Valley companies and other community members to ensure students can engage in experimentation and exploration for years to come. Sarah Slavin,CEO of RAFT, is excited about the progress of the partnership with St. Leo’s saying, “St. Leo’s is an excellent example of what happens when schools provide opportunities for students and teachers to discover the joy of hands-on learning and tinkering.” RAFT worked with the St. Leo’s community in the designing and building of the Makerspace, and will continue to provide supplies, professional coaching, and Design Thinking challenges for the K-8th grade teachers at the school.St. Leo’s community looks forward to many years of tinkering in the makerspace and exploring STEAM concepts.

Matt Komar, Principal of St. Leo the Great, has been a long-time champion of STEAM education and looks forward to the opening of the next stages of engaging with the Makerspace. At the event, Komar stated, “This morning’s ribbon cutting and blessing to celebrate the completion of our Makerspace is truly a milestone for St. Leo the Great School.Partnering with RAFT has enabled the vision of having a dedicated space on campus where students can have fun, dream, explore, and feel empowered to create and showcase their intelligence outside of a traditional classroom.” Komar also thanked the St. Leo class of 2018 for their role in working with RAFT in May 2018 in the assembly of the interior of the room. The legacy gift from these students will ensure generations of future students have access to a dynamic learning environment.

St. Leo the Great is the first Catholic school in the Diocese of San Jose to implement a Makerspace and will continue to provide students with opportunities to engage in design-thinking and hands-on learning experiences.

RAFT’s mission is to help educators transform a child’s learning experience through hands on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning. We are doing this today in the Bay Area with some 8,000 educators, who teach both inside and outside the classroom. RAFT’s products (Activity Kits & Idea Sheets), services (professional development and mentoring) and low-cost teaching supplies enrich and improve the education of over 600,000 young people each year.

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