Thinkering Studios

student fixing computer in thinkering studio

Critical thinking, creativity and communication, these are the skills our children will need to be successful as young adults. Key’s philosophy has always emphasized the importance of students understanding varying viewpoints of different cultures, oral discursive argumentation skills, and strategy training in order to solve problems with creative solutions.

Key's Thinkering Studios

Our Thinkering Studios are dedicated educational makerspaces designed to encourage the development of stamina and intrinsic motivation to stick to a task or problem that may not be solved easily or quickly. There are currently two Thinkering Studios on campus; one for our first and second grade students, and one for our third and fourth grade students.

young boys using tablet

Each Studio is organized into various zones such as: fabrication, computers, electrical engineering, and architecture. Each zone provides students with a variety of developmentally distinct and challenging activities while engaging them in creative problem-solving, discussion, imaginative thought, and collaboration - all skills that are critical to success in a global economy that is increasingly based on innovative and nimble thinking.

Students use these spaces for a variety of high and low-tech projects such as basic woodworking, circuitry, computer programming, 3D printing, and STEAM investigations. Each class begins with a Safety Meeting where safe and appropriate use of tools is demonstrated and practiced.

Maker Tech Experiences

Along with providing free-build opportunities, the Thinkering Studios are homebase for weekly Maker Tech classes which are tied directly to curricular units in science, language arts and math. Sessions include such activities as:

  • 1st graders woodworking to create sea life dioramas in support of their Oceans Unit and creating journals to records their progress on Maker Tech projects.
  • 2nd graders building and using orienteering compasses when studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition and sewing historically accurate garments during their Colonial America Unit.
  • 3rd graders designing and building functional catapults and trebuchets when studying Medieval life and using the coding app TurtleArt to create kente cloth designs which they then import into Tinkercard to mold into stamps on the 3D printer. Those stamps are then used on fabric to create a faux kente cloth quilt.
  • 4th graders building and coding spheros to create chariots that race during their Greek Unit and assembling computers that run Minecraft from detailed blueprints.