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Eden Hall Debuts Think Tank

Collage of library photosEden Hall Upper Elementary’s library opened this year with a new maker space for students to work on creative craft and technology projects. 


What used to be the library’s computer lab is now the dedicated Eden Hall Think Tank. The vision for the room is to be a space for learners to think critically and creatively, collaborate and share in order to solve problems and better understand their world.


The new space offers new furniture and abundant storage for myriad craft and tech supplies. Students can do everything from sew to work with Sphero coding robots.


The entrance to the Think Tank features brightly colored vinyl decals with the words Think, Create, Share and Grow. Librarian Beth Shenefiel explained that these are domains directly related to the American Association of School Librarians’ standards and the library’s vision. “They are intentional to reflect the goals of the Think Tank,” she said.


The center of the room is anchored by large counter-height work tables that have storage and electrical capabilities, as well as wheels that give flexibility to configure the tables as needed. The left side of the room is dedicated to tech, with counter space for students to work with littleBits, electronic building blocks that snap together with magnets for students to create complex circuits. The wall boasts several new cabinets for storage, which, Mrs. Shenefiel noted, help to create more usable space in the rest of the room.


Along the right side of the room is a long counter that is home to Cricut cutting machines and sewing machines. The front of the room features large windows on either side of modern glass barn-style sliding doors, keeping the space bright and airy. Magnetic white boards line the bottom half of the front wall, and Mrs. Shenefiel plans to use that space to display student projects. Each of these changes in the library began with the district’s In-Depth Program Review Process, an approach to continuous improvement and innovation within each program offered K-12.


Future goals for the space include adding computers for students to work on video projects and open shelving to display projects.


Mrs. Shenefiel looks forward to using the space for hands-on, project-based learning experiences planned in collaboration with classroom teachers in support of the curriculum..  Students will also be able to use the space to create guided maker projects during Explore periods. 


“The changes to the Think Tank really give the space a renewed sense of purpose,” Mrs. Shenefiel said. “Teachers and students are very eager to use the space and begin creating. I can’t wait to begin Think Tank projects with them.”


Mrs. Shenefiel added a special thank you to Jeff Zimmerman, director of facilities, Jamie Rucker, assistant director of facilities, and Pine-Richland custodians for their hard work, as well as a thank you to Eden Hall and district leadership for allowing the project to move forward.