The Maker Mindset

maker mindset at St. Mary'sAt St. Mary’s, we believe in the maker mindset, which we use as a frame for teaching both science and humanities all over the school. Being a maker involves collaboration, risk-taking, and the idea that there's more than one right answer; makers tinker with machines and technology or use a paintbrush or a 3D printer. We embrace them all and find the unique tools to equip each girl to see a challenge as an opportunity.


Since 2013, Early Childhood students at St. Mary's have been a part of the Global Cardboard Challenge, a day of engineering and building that begins in the classroom, and ends with a giant cardboard construction party. This collaborative project instills creativity and curiosity in our youngest students; you might see three-year-olds reconstructing the Three Little Pigs' homes, four-year-olds designing cars, or five-year-olds building storefronts for their town. The challenge helps us work on creative and engineering skills while recycling and connecting with other kids around the world.


There are two makerspaces on the St. Mary's campus, each equipped with all manner of tools and materials to encourage discussion, problem-solving, design, and collaborative work. While these spaces share some commonalities with other makerspaces, including 3D printers and computers loaded with design software, our spaces are wide open, and curriculum follows a very flexible path often determined by the students. Neither makerspace looks the same from day-to-day, depending on the activities within, which range from building competition-ready robots to printing 3D race medals to creating movie special effects on a green screen.