With its goal to provide educators with STEAM learning resources, Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT), a non-profit organization founded in 1994, organized a makerspace build for the Kathryn Hughes Elementary School in Santa Clara.

RAFT believes that makerspaces are a great way to encourage curiosity and hands-on STEAM learning. Using a wide selection of upcycled materials such as foam blocks, cardboard tubes, and everyday school supplies, RAFT provides resources for creating meaningful project-based learning. Because sustainability is a crucial part of RAFT’s advocacies, the use of upcycled and more affordable resources ensures that teachers and schools will have the tools they need to implement effective learning at makerspaces.

Funded by a generous grant from the Arista Foundation, this project encompasses all stages of the makerspace build, from planning and designing all the way up to a community build day. Throughout the project, RAFT will be working with the Kathryn Hughes Elementary School administration and faculty on the makerspace utilization goals.

On October 18 and 19, RAFT and the Kathryn Hughes Elementary School held the makerspace community build days where RAFT staff, Kathryn Hughes school staff, parents, students, and other community members were present to take part. The student-built tables, tool carts, and mobile shelving are now in the makerspace and ready for use. RAFT will continue to support teachers as they bring the Makerspace to life with design challenges, project-based learning, and other hands-on maker activities. From there, teachers develop their own inquiry-based learning experiences and share their learning with their peers.

About RAFT: Established in 1994 by a local teacher, RAFT’s mission is to help educators transform a child’s learning experience through hands-on education to one that inspires the joy and discovery of learning. RAFT enables educators to increase instructional minutes in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) by providing hands-on project kits, design challenges, and professional development. RAFT helps bridge the educational gap amongst underserved students who don’t have access to high quality STEAM education and inspires the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, and creators. For more information, visit raft.net.
About Kathryn Hughes Elementary School: Kathryn Hughes Elementary is a preschool through fifth grade Title 1 public school in Santa Clara that supports a diverse population of students and families with inquiry based, innovative, and inspiring learning. First built in 1964, the school was named for Kathryn Hughes, an outstanding and beloved teacher who served in the Alviso School District for 39 years. For more information, visit hughes.schoolloop.com.