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Makerspace Apprenticeship Program (2017-18)

How might we create a leadership role for students in our Makerspace that leverages student engagement and knowledge, allows students to work as apprentices, and provides an opportunity for Upper School students to engage with Lower and Middle School students in an interdisciplinary way?

Our Goal

We are developing an apprenticeship program through which a small cohort of students will serve as leaders and mentors within our new Makerspace. Upper School students will serve as apprentices in the Makerspace, supporting the development of projects and preparation of materials for the younger students in the school.

Through this program, students will have the opportunity to be at the forefront of 21st Century advanced manufacturing technology by receiving training in developing their skills of rapid prototyping, problem-solving, and invention. This will also give students the know-how to operate and use the equipment, fortifying their confidence and removing some of their fear, allowing more time for creativity and exploration.

Additionally, we would like to explore ways in which students could work with teachers to develop innovative projects that support their curricula and make use of the technology in the Makerspace. This apprenticeship will provide students with time to collaborate with each other, and the autonomy and skills to become independent learners.

Students will serve others as part of their work as apprentices, and we can imagine a time when apprentices and other students in our Makerspace might also develop projects that serve our community and the non-profit partners of RCDS. Our hope is that our research, conversation, and collaboration with students, teachers, staff, and administrators will help us create a model for an apprenticeship program that can grow with the Makerspace.


We have read and researched extensively on makerspaces, apprenticeships, maker education, design principles, entrepreneurship, and service learning.


Chris Kaye
Middle School and Upper School Art Teacher

Katie O’Shaughnessey
Computer Science Department Chair and Upper School Computer Science Teacher

Institute Projects