Work underway on new learning space

The North Iowa School Board takes a look at progress on the new “Makerspace” at the school, as the old cafeteria is being transformed into a space for project-based learning.

     North Iowa students will soon have a new dedicated room for project-based learning, as the school is converting the old cafeteria in the basement of the 1922 building into a “Makerspace” this summer.

     Kim Ostermann began working with students on projects this past school year, based in the high school media center. Examples of things they work with include robotics, Lego, and jewelry that they made and sold this past spring. The remodeled cafeteria room will provide more space for kids to work next school year, plus there will be dedicated areas for things like 3D printing.

     The work done so far includes removing asbestos floor tiling and cutting holes for new doors, which will make it easier to move things around the basement. The North Iowa School Board got a look at the progress during its monthly meeting last Monday. Walls in the room are being redone, and new shelving and a drop ceiling will be put in.

     Superintendent Joe Erickson, who started at North Iowa on July 1, says the goal of the Makerspace is to enhance the learning that takes place in the classroom. Ostermann says they will also have two carts with STEM equipment, which can be used in the Makerspace or taken to classrooms.

     Erickson says their goal is to have the room finished by the start of the new school year. He says the cost of the project should come in very close to what the school board had estimated, at about $70,000.