Third graders are designing everything in Makerspace at their school, from haunted houses to pet beds, and pet toys to benefit a local animal shelter.

At Pleasant Ridge Elementary School in Saline, Michigan, students moved about the Makerspace classroom, gathering materials, to make prototypes of of cat toys, tunnels for hamsters, and pet beds.They used pipe cleaners, cardboard paper towel tubes, tape, and scraps of fleece among other supplies.

Lorrie Welzbacker’s class is exploring how to “make the world a more beautiful place.” They are working to benefit the Humane Society of Huron Valley, and so they designed items for the animals’ comfort.

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“A lot of dogs have to sleep on just a blanket or just the ground, so we want to make something fluffy for this dog to sit on,” said Morgan Presnell, as she cut fabric to make a dog bed.

Makerspace rooms provide a variety of materials for students, with minimal direction and freedom to explore ideas and learn to solve problems with creativity.

“We get to do fun projects in here,” said Reid Popovitz. “We usually do math and reading in class, and writing.”

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