From teaching at a high school, to a library, to an elementary school, and finally the Makerspace, Mindy Siefert found her sanctuary. The maker space is an ever-evolving program at Webster. Students are able to use 3-D printers, laser cutters, and more to create innovative projects.
Throughout her career, Siefert worked at Lindbergh High School, and eventually their elementary school. At her most recent job, Siefert taught a STEM class, where she helped elementary students focus specifically on science and technology, which she felt was necessary for kids in this day and age.
However, she felt her time teaching young children was coming to an end, so she went searching for other opportunities.
“I was just looking for jobs and I applied and that’s where it started.” Siefert stated how she came upon this job. She says she prefers teaching high schoolers, and enjoys the hands-on work she is able to do everyday. She now teaches the Makerspace class, as well as a math and manufacturing class.
The students that take the Makerspace class are most likely wanting to explore computer technology, programming, and creation. While creating does take up the majority of the class, Siefert says she uses the first week to get students familiar with the software, and to assess how much previous experience they have. She says her “biggest issue is when kids come into the class without knowing how to use the technology.”
Wick Hardison is a senior taking the Makerspace I class. During the third week of school he says, “We are still figuring everything out, I think we’ll pretty much just play around with the software until we’re assigned a project.” Hardison says the class so far has been easy and laid back, but that he knows it will become more eventful when they begin creating.
While the space is already equipped with high-end, modern creating technology, Siefert plans to request vinyl cutters be added to the classroom. She says with vinyl cutters, students can do a number of things they wouldn’t be able to otherwise, like make stickers, t-shirt designs, and labels.
At the end of the semester long course, Siefert hopes the students will have found something they are good at or passionate about, while still having fun, of course. She says she takes pleasure in teaching about something she is so excited about. “I’m a maker naturally.”