Lessons Learned: First Year in New Maker Spaces

Montezuma-Cortez High School (MCHS) opened in 2015 with new spaces for hands-on learning in Agriculture, Fire Science, and Family and Consumer Science programs. These spaces combine real world environments, such as an actual ambulance box, with flexible, multi-purpose maker spaces used for large-scale fabrication, welding, and carpentry.

The indoor/outdoor environments support basic and advanced courses ranging from science to mechanics, and extracurricular programs from drama to 4H, to provide a variety of educational options in a single high school serving a small community.

This presentation focuses on the design intent and construction of the new spaces and lessons learned from the first year of occupancy. Lessons relating to how spaces are actually being used for curricular and extracurricular purposes, and for teacher-led projects and independent projects, and how MCHS is adapting to changes in programs and staffing can be applied to the use of existing maker spaces, or to the design of renovations or newly constructed spaces.

This presentation was originally shared at the 2016 A4LE Southwest Regional Conference.

Co-presented by:

Julie Walleisa, AIA, ALEP, LEED AP BD+C
Adrienne Lewis, AIA, LEED AP BD+C