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Creation Studios designed to inspire student creativity

Setting poetry idioms to music. Creating sound effects to represent different parts of math equations. Recording original songs for the morning announcements. 

It didn’t take long for a group of Eisenhower Junior High media students to come up with a variety of potential uses for the new sound lab in their school library – which has been transformed into a Creation Studio. 

A student working with GarageBand“We like to create in media class. This will give us another opportunity,” said Hope, an eighth-grade student, as she tried out GarageBand on one of the iPads in the sound lab. “It would be cool to create different sound effects to go along with a project.”

Creation Studio renovations were completed at Eisenhower, Mead, Addams and Frost junior high schools this summer as part of the district’s strategic focus on cultivating innovation. In addition to the sound labs, the Creation Studios include vision labs, virtual and augmented reality labs, flexible seating and technology integration. 

“Learning Centers can and should function as the hub for our schools,” Associate Superintendent Nick Myers said. “They should reflect our instructional priorities and be exciting places where students are deeply engaged in activities that support their creative interests and aspirations.”

The new spaces offer a wealth of opportunities for students to create, communicate, collaborate and think critically in all subject areas, as well as to make connections among subjects. For instance, a student could create a character in art, animate the character, create a story for the character and set it to music for a final product, Mead Learning Resource Teacher (LRT) Amelia Reimel said. 

Students working with Garageband“This is a place where students have a new opportunity to not only learn new technology, but to create something that they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to create,” Reimel said. The Creation Studios provide unique ways for quieter students or those who struggle with traditional assessments to show their learning, she added. 

“It’s a way for kids to have a brand-new voice and a brand-new way to demonstrate what they are capable of,” Reimel said. 

“The audio studio will provide us with new educational opportunities and new ways to express our ideas,” said Dhruv, a Mead eighth-grade student.

Teachers are using the space in the Mead Creation Studio to maximize learning, whether that is by reserving the virtual reality lab for a lesson or using the risers for a Socratic circle, Reimel said.

Students love it as well. 

“They understand what each new space is used for – so for instance, when they come in to read, they’ll go sit on the couches or the big chairs rather than at the tables,” Reimel said.

Student working with GaragebandAt Eisenhower, the Creation Studio will make the eighth-grade social studies lesson about the Holocaust even more powerful. Students will start the unit with a virtual walk-through of Auschwitz with the virtual reality goggles and end the unit by creating a project in the sound or vision studio, such as a news broadcast or an audio diary, to show what they learned.

“Students are very interested and moved by what they are learning about the Holocaust, and this type of project will have more of a long-term impact on them and their knowledge,” Eisenhower LRT Jeanne Ott said.

Staff and students have other ideas for the new sound and vision labs in the Creation Studios. For instance, Ott said she has talked with some language arts teachers about students filming book talks and sharing them on the morning announcements.

“Students will be more engaged by hearing what a classmate says about a book than they would by reading the synopsis on the back,” Ott said. 

Eisenhower Learning Resource Assistant Pamela Sanchez is excited to run a new after-school Creation Studio Club after winter break – and students who have already tried out some of the technology are more than ready to return.  

“I love this room!” said Karla, an Eisenhower eighth-grade student, about the sound lab. “It’s my new favorite room.”