Charlie Vierhout has been working hard to spread the Maker movement into new corners of Arizona. Charlie sits on the city council of Avondale, and with his friend John Miller, Vierhout has been successful getting some maker tools and culture into the schools as well. They sent us a pair of pictures we’re delighted to pass along here. Please don’t forget to take before-and-after pictures of your transformed rooms as you add Makerspaces in your schools!

Verrado Middle School computer lab on February 16th, 2012.

And here’s the same room just a week and a half later, on February 27th.

They call the new room “Computer Lab 2.0.” This 21st-century version has fewer computers but more technology plus far more interest for Verrado’s students. They have two MakerBots, some LEGO robotics stations, an Eggbot, a computer tear down area, a stop-motion animation stage, and an Arduino workbench.

The old room had 30 Apple desktop computers. That’s about $36,000 in systems. The new room with all the gear and extras came in at under $15,000.

Vierhout put it this way, “[That's a] saving of $21K and student engagement is up 100%.  Notice all the Post-Its on the wall? Those are student ideas for things to do.”

Another school in the district was recently written up in the local paper: “Litchfield Elementary School District offers tech advantages.”

You can keep up with Miller and Vierhout’s progress as they continue to transform this room and the school culture at their website:

Also happening in that part of Arizona: On March 20th, Vierhout tells us, nearby Avondale opened a “free-to-the-public collaborative workspace.” Read more about this new space, Gangplank Avondale.

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3 Responses to Schools Making Makerspaces: Verrado Middle School, before & after

  1. Jon Castelhano says:

    Nice job! The new space is open for collaboration and a great opportunity for student centered learning to take place.

  2. Fantasitic work! I hope to get somethng like this going at Challenger Middle school in Colorado Springs at some point over the next year or two. We have a complete wood and sheet metal shop that has not been occupied by students for years now and I hope to transform it into something like this.

  3. Alittle Mouse says:

    What are those big white things on the desks?