ImagineSpace Launches at PSES

ImagineSpace Launches at PSES
Posted on 03/01/2019
PSES ImagineSpaceThe new ImagineSpace at Peterboro Street Elementary School is a colorful, noisy place where students can touch, play, build and explore. And it’s part of a growing trend that will soon be in all four Canastota school buildings.

ImagineSpace, created next to the PSES library in a former computer lab, allows Canastota’s youngest learners to engage in a variety of STEAM activities – building 3D shapes, identifying patterns, completing puzzles, racing cars down incline planks. Since October, classes have visited the space every other week with students working in small groups, rotating through two or three of the eight available activity stations each time.

“The kids love it. They love coming in and exploring the stations,” said elementary librarian Tracy Mammone, who spearheaded the development of Imagine Space. “When we change things up, we see kids peeking in the door to see what’s new.”

ImagineSpace is the PSES counterpart to South Side Elementary’s Makerspace, which opened during the 2017-18 school year as the district’s first dedicated makerspace. Ms. Mammone spearheaded that effort as well, after Director of Technology Chris Clancy invited her to visit another district during his research for the Raider 1:1 Initiative.

“I was amazed when I saw what they were doing and immediately started thinking about what we could do here,” Ms. Mammone said.

She immediately began researching grants, materials and ideas for a makerspace at SSES. She received three grants to fully cover the start-up costs, she said.

Once she had the Makerspace up and running at SSES, she turned her attention to PSES and secured a district CHEEP grant to open Imagine Space. The two buildings are able to share materials, she said, and staff have been generous in responding to calls for household items, art supplies and other materials students can repurpose.

Mammone works closely with art teacher Melissa Palkovic and library aide Chelsea Buda to support the makerspaces at both schools.

PSES Principal Jennie Carnahan said the Imagine Space helps provide students with new opportunities to explore unique activities and concepts, and the activities help develop important social and life skills.

“Collaboration, cooperation and communication skills are necessary to participate in many of the stations,” she said. “It has been wonderful to have this space here.”

Mr. Clancy is now working with the Roberts Street Elementary School team to open a makerspace there later this spring. He is also working with the Junior/Senior High School team to develop a makerspace concept for a portion of the library.