Belmont Middle School has opened a new Makerspace designed for students, teachers and mentors to meet, create, invent and learn. This was made possible by the $6,000 grant the school received from the Meredith Village Savings Bank fund in 2017. The Makerspace offers 3D printers, a 3D scanner, software programs, electronic kits, craft materials and sewing machines that help students keep pace with the growing need for technical knowledge.
Rick Wyman, President of Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB), recently visited the school’s Makerspace open house in January, where students were eager to demonstrate current and completed projects while giving tours of the dedicated area. “It’s our honor and privilege to invest in the students of Belmont Middle School,” said Wyman. “The Makerspace combines manufacturing equipment, community and education for the purpose of enabling the Belmont school district to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. This ensures everyone has equal access to design, engineering, fabrication and education.”
The Belmont Middle School Makerspace is managed by middle school teachers, Karen Gingrich and Joe Wernig. “We’re incredibly grateful to MVSB for investing in our Makerspace,” said Gingrich. “We’re now better able to provide engaging activities and materials that excite our students. The Makerspace gives them the opportunity to extend their education by making it personal.”
“Students are able to work on projects that interest them,” added Wernig. “They participate in ‘how-to’ sessions, then spend their scheduled time working on independent projects. Thanks to the generous support of MVSB, we’re able to offer materials that speak to all types of preferences from engineering to innovation to art.”
The Makerspace is located in a dedicated area within the school’s STEM room, where students have access during scheduled in-school and after-school sessions. Students also took part in painting the room, investing their time in creating a workspace that suits them best. “It’s really wonderful to see the spark of curiosity get ignited in these students. We’re better able to encourage hands-on learning, which was made possible by MVSB’s belief in our mission and our students,” said Wernig.
Belmont Middle School is part of the Shaker Regional School District, serving Belmont and Canterbury. The mission of Belmont Middle School is to develop the creative adolescent mind by awakening the life-long pursuit of self-discipline, tolerance, creativity, responsibility, curiosity and a clear sense of local and global citizenship. To learn more about Belmont Middle School, visit bms.sau80.org.
The Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund was established in 1997 under the leadership of John Starrett, then President and CEO of the Bank. Since then, 351 grants totaling $1,410,867 have been awarded to a wide range of environmental, social, educational and historic projects throughout the Greater Lakes Region, Plymouth and NH Seacoast areas. Over the years, the Fund has supported literacy programs, after-school programs, environmental monitoring and education, restoration of historic structures, organizations that provide support for individuals and families in challenging circumstances and equipment that helps save lives. The deadline for consideration for the next grant cycle is October 15, 2018. Applications are available on the Bank’s website and at all MVSB offices.