Makerspaces at Belgrave Heights Christian School

We had a great PD at Belgrave Heights Christian School on 3rd march 2016 where we looked at all things MAKERSPACE. Again, a huge thanks to Kathy Frater for supporting Pakenham SLAV branch with such an informative afternoon. It was encouraging to see the BHCC teaching staff get on board really quickly and how Kathy made the clear links to curriculum.

Listed are just some of the activities that we were able to explore and I must give thanks to Jessica Gallagher for sharing her notes that have become a part of this blog post.

  • Kinetic sand – from ELC to high school geography (coastlines etc)
  • Inventor bags – full of random bits and pieces (good for literacy, then write something linked to it)
  • Makey Makey
  • Simple circuitry
  • Colouring pages – geometric shapes and fine motor coordination (please beware of copyright laws)
  • Loom bands – super cheap to purchase. Students follow instructions on YouTube.
  • Making Jewellery
  • 3D printers – think carefully before purchasing but the pi cup holder was an inspired piece of art!
  • Lego – keep it in small kits, students have to disassemble at the end of the week.
  • Hot glue guns – six there but Kathy expressed a need for more
  • Smash books – something done with Year 12 during pastoral classes
  • Badge making

At BHCC, the Discovery Centre is open at lunch times. Each week is themed  e.g. Engineering week, then different age groups each day. Booking sheets at the circulation desk are quickly filled and Kathy and her team advertise what is coming up. Some popular themes include:

  • Maze week (in shoe boxes with marbles using straws and twigs etc), this one took one group a whole week (popular activities are repeated).
  • Paper Engineering week
  • Construction week
  • Friendship week (ideas included bracelets)

Advice and words of wisdom:

  • One activity at a time otherwise it gets out of hand.
  • Low tech items have been the biggest success.
  • Recruit older students to support activities if limited staff members.
  • Keep an eye out for students who have a flair for each thing.
  • Also use your community – parents etc. to run workshops
  • Have YouTube videos ready for the students to follow
  • Pinterest is a great resource.
  • Butchers paper (Ikea) on table to help with clean-up.
  • Get a small vacuum and keep it in the space, students expected to clean up the space.

New Ideas and resources to supply:

Image retreived from:

Image retreived from:

  • Zen tangling – a great way to calm down students perhaps before exams. Just need fine liners and dare I say patience. Great in regards to pastoral care as well, engaging so many different students with their various struggles. Great connections with students.
  • Reverse art truck, Arthur Daley’s for resources, Costco

  • Advertise in the newsletter for specific  supplies, e.g. Wool, Lego etc.

  • Shelves on castors and storage containers from IKEA

  • Flip tables from Wood’s furniture

  • Décor containers on sale in supermarkets.

  • Office works for scrap books

The Brisbane based Edu Tech conference is coming up and Megan Daily will be presenting again. I fist met Megan through my Masters of Education studies at QUT at the CBCA Reading Conference in 2014. Last year I attended an online webinar featuring Jackie Childs who is Megan’s colleague and she is just as inspirational.  This link takes you to some of her recent posts about coding and where they are going in the Makerspace movement. Please feel free to share and support one another with what you are doing too!

What is your manifesto on this new wave?

M4 M5 M3 M2 M1


Term 2 SLAV Pakenham Branch Meeting


The next SLAV Branch meeting will be held on Wednesday 25th May 2016.

Hosted by Jessica Gallager, Head of Library Services at Haileybury, Berwick Campus – 138 High Street, Berwick, 3806.

Topic: Library websites and Book Week planning.

We look forward to seeing you from 4pm onwards.


Michelle Nye