FMPS Funds Innovative Electronics Program

Thanks to a new grant from the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools (FMPS), creative sparks are flying at the Makerspace enrichment program at the Marblehead Community Charter Public School. “The ‘Getting Kids Into Electronics’ grant provided us with electronic tools, testing equipment, and practical electronics books that give meaningful, real-world learning experience to our students,” explains Assistant Head of School Bill Sullivan, who leads the program with Matt Cronin and Glenn Blackney. Kids can build whatever they dream up, or they can find inspiration from sources like instructables.com and makezine.com, which have step-by-step instructions for projects like electronic toys, gadgets and robots. Makerspace has become a thriving program thanks in large part to FMPS, explains Sullivan. “We were so grateful for the Friends grant for the 3D printer last year, and this new grant expands the Makerspace program even more.” The new electronic kits include Arduino products—hardware and software that can be used to create interactive designs—and an oscilloscope, a tool engineers use to test electronic devices. The kits give the students the freedom to design and the hands-on opportunity to learn by trial and error, says Sullivan. As he checks in with the dozens of students who are researching, building, testing and playing with their creations, he has to remind them that the school day is almost over. “No one wants to leave,” Sullivan laughs.

Nick, a 7th grader, shows off the car he built at Makerspace with materials funded by FMPS.

MCCPS photo 2
Sixth graders Caroline, Ellie and Kate research a new project to build.

MCCPS photo 1Cal, Justin and Theo collaborate on a project at Makerspace, an enrichment program funded by FMPS grants.