Design and Makerspace
This year the freshman have a module known as freshmen orientation. There are two courses, “Design and Makerspace” and “Health and Wellness”. These courses are intended to integrate the freshmen into Blair and give them basic information. This includes sexual education, mental health, substance usage, basic makerspace instructions, and programming.
I am taking Design and makerspace this semester. This course meets twice a week and we are learning how to use the makerspace and its tools. Mr. Garrant, Mrs. Ryerson, and Mrs. Sykes all run the course this year. We have spent the semester using the 3D printer, laser cutter, and the vinyl cutter. The course ends with us making cars to race in a Pinewood Derby!
The course so far has been very interesting and educational. We usually start with meeting in the robotics lab or makerspace then work on designs. The course has allowed me to meet new freshmen and better understand the different tools in the Makerspace. So far I have used the laser cutter and 3D printer to make a monogram. I usually find the course fun, but sometimes the technology behind the final product is hard to use.
Designing the actual products is surprisingly easier than expected. The process begins with a sketch, then tinkering with a design website. Once your preferred design is completed you usually show your monitor, and once they approve it, you can start actually making your design. Even if you are not a part of the design and makerspace course or a makerspace elective you can use it at any time! One just needs to email Mr. Garrant then come to the Makerspace. I strongly encourage that everyone uses the makerspace at some point, as we are very to have it.
Health and Wellness
I am taking Health and Wellness. In this course, we talk about the many issues that we face in school and society today, and how to tackle these problems to create a more collaborative, accepting world. So far we have addressed issues such as how to successfully resolve conflict, harmful teasing, and racial stigmas. These discussions are incredibly important, as they provide us with a foundation to successfully support our growth and understanding not only in our Blair years, but college and beyond. In the future, we will need to face adversity and learn to understand and connect with people of different backgrounds. While it may seem obvious to avoid saying racial slurs and apologize for harmful mistakes, going more into depth about how to approach such things when they do happen is beneficial to all. The topics in the class also require us to think more deeply about the world around us and how to confront the problems we are faced with. Most of the time, we are asked to think about real-life scenarios when we have noticed these problems come up, and then discuss in class.
Here is what current freshmen think of this program:
“Health and Wellness helps students talk about topics that typically wouldn’t be discussed.”
“The way this generation works- all of us already know what they are teaching us because of the Internet.”
“It covers a lot of important topics that I think most people should know more about.”
The modules have proven to be a valuable source of information for helping new freshmen accustom themselves to Blair life and the materials provided in the Makerspace. Many freshmen have enjoyed learning more about the tools they will have access to for the next four years and look forward to making our community a better and more inclusive place for everybody.
(Copyright 2018 Peyton Schreiber)