To the Charlotte Lab School students who embraced Maker Lab and made some pretty amazing things this year. Through all of you, we learned so much!

Thank you to all Charlotte Lab School parents for your support and to those parents who volunteered their time and willingness to learn new things with us!

Thank you Kendra Johnson for your infectious passion for making! Also for demonstrating mastery of 21-st century skills, particularly adaptability in the early days!

Sorry about the laughter, volume, CHAOS and mess but we are learning!

Thanks to Dave Hartzell for bringing your creativity and willingness to try absolutely anything to the Maker Lab.

Thank you to the Charlotte Lab School leadership team for putting up with some crazy ideas and a colossal mess in our open school!

Thank you CLS teachers for being willing to jump right in and make with us during your class time.

Thank you Maker Education for your mission and passion for Making, you made our Maker team possible!

MakedEd VISTA's Colby Snyder and Brittany Newswanger


Inagural Year: Maker Lab allowed the children to bring their ideas to life. With planning, collaboration, reflection and revision, their ideas, their designs, became real. They began to understand that they have power, they can make a difference.
-Trish Moffatt, Parent ,4th grade

Inagural Year: The Maker Lab was a wonderful experience for my 4th grader. The Makers team came up with creative projects and really ignited a love of learning in my son. There is a new passion for all things that involve engineering and learning how things work.
-Mueller, Parent ,4th grade

Inagural Year: Colby and Brittany did a wonderful job at planning and implementing engaging lessons for all grade levels. Watching Kindergarten explore "makey makeys" or become engineers and create their own building out of toothpicks and candy were just some of the highlights from last year. Kindergarten students loved having Maker Lab for enrichment. It was great to see them use their creativity to become makers through all the hands on projects and lessons that the Maker Lab team planned on a weekly basis!
-Elizabeth King , Teacher ,Kindergarten

Inagural Year: The Maker Lab team was a huge influence on our Quest program at LAB. The Maker Team was always providing hands on, real world, creative activities that made the kids excited to learn. The kids took on a love for building and using their creativity to enhance their school experiences. The Maker team is always up to something new and exciting! They bring life to learning each day.
-Davino, Teacher ,Elementary

Inagural Year: As a first year teacher of Quest, it was wonderful to be offered support through the Maker Lab Team. From leading us through the creation of anemometers during my Quest weather unit to helping me plan and record an audio tour of a local animal ranch, Colby and Brittany were always there to offer great ideas and hands-on support. Parents really appreciated access to the audio tour that their Kindergarten students made of the Lazy 5 Ranch. During our ranch field trip, students toured with parent volunteers to talk about what they learned during the course of the quarter. Parents were impressed that they were able to listen to the audio tour on their own devices during the field trip in order for their small groups to follow along. This could not have happened without Colby's help. I also loved being able to then display a wall map that Colby and I made of student artwork. We then connected the student art to "makey makeys" which connected the voices in the audio tour to the appropriate pieces of the map.This interactive Lazy 5 mural gave all of the students and parents access to our project during our end of year Kindergarten showcase. Thank you to both of these great ladies for all that they contributed to student learning at Charlotte Lab!
-Mary Royall Byrum, Teacher ,Kindergarten

Projects: DIY Paper Making was a great experience and also a chance for us to collaborate with our art teacher. It started out with using old picture frames and screens to make molds. We then ripped, cut, and blended scrap paper of all colors with water. After letting the papers dry overnight, we carefully detached them and used our DIY paper sheets to make Idea books. This was definitely a "failing up" experience!
-Dave Hartzell, Staff ,Elementary

Inagural Year: When I joined the team in January, I was amazed to see what had already been built in the Maker Lab. For me, the coolest part about it all was how infectious the learning had become. Students, teachers, families, and community members all learned together- which led to some pretty big ideas! I'll never forget the life-sized Hungry Hippos, Mentos powered cars, or cardboard arcade games. And this was just the Inagural Year...
-Dave Hartzell, Staff ,Elementary

Other: The maker lab has proven to be a dynamic environment for young minds. Brittany and Colby have done a tremendous job on the program content and this site. They have harnessed the best local Charlotte maker-related resources and also worked tirelessly to innovate and put their own spin on the best material available through the web. Congratulations on a great year and we're looking forward to the continued growth of this program.
-MysteryMaker704, Parent

School: I was a parent of a third grader last year who came home regularly sharing about the cool projects she was doing in Maker Lab. I am an educator myself and provide professional development for schools across the country, so I must confess that I originally thought that the projects sounded nice, but likely similar to what I've been exposed to at other schools. It wasn't until I started dropping in on the Maker Lab and seeing the kids doing hands on activities that I was totally blown away! To have the privilege of joining the school staff this year has me very excited to learn from this wonderful team and most importantly, the kids!
-Dee Lanier, Parent ,3rd grade

Inagural Year: Maker Lab was a great tool for students to become hands-on learners and builders. Many of my students would count down the minutes until they would be able to go to Maker Lab class. This class awarded the students the opportunity to try creative strategies and to think "outside the box". I saw my students learn the importance of trial and error and learned that it is was acceptable to fail and try again. I am a huge supporter of Maker Lab in schools!
-Doig, Teacher ,Kindergarten

Inagural Year: I greatly appreciated having Colby's counsel and skill in creating this project for our higher-ability learners in Math. It would have been very difficult to do alone, but with her guidance the project worked beautifully and our students really enjoyed learning through making.
-Scale Models, Teacher ,4th grade

Inagural Year: This year has been one that has pushed the limits and boundaries of our teachers, parents and students in regards to making!
-Ricky Singh, Administrator ,Elementary

Inagural Year: The Maker Lab team did such an awesome job at engaging students from the very beginning! It was very interactive and student friendly for all grade levels. My first graders truly enjoyed their experiences and would ask everyday if they would be going to the Maker Lab! They truly made learning fun last year for our students. I am excited to see what they have planned for this year!
-Victoria Castro, Teacher ,Elementary

Inagural Year: Seeing Kindergartners really engage in making was outstanding. The idea that they were actually creating and engaged was huge but the fact that they understood everything was outstanding! When I helped in after school, I had the chance to see just how mush this group learned. Kindergartners actually showed other students how to make proper lines for the ozobots. The most important piece to what anyone had to know to make ozobots work and a kindergarten student taught 3-5 graders what to do. Awesome year Maker Lab!
-Mitchell Carraway, Director of Technology, Teacher ,Kindergarten

Inagural Year: Making shows our kids - and reteaches adults - that imagination is valuable in addition to being needed!
-Anonymous, Parent ,Elementary

Inagural Year: Hands-on, creative projects flowed out of the Maker Lab all year, bringing daily inspiration to students and faculty like me :) The Maker team developed a unique curriculum -- a wonderful cross-pollination of subjects fueled by the mantra "fail-up"!
-Lisa Charde, Teacher

School: When I visited the school in April it was like no other experience ever. Just keep making it even better!
-Bob Paino, Parent

Inagural Year: When I first learned about Lab, the coolest thing I heard about was the Maker Lab, and it really was so fantastic to watch and hear the kids creating, failing, trying, collaborating, and using all kinds of every day objects differently. The team successfully met every challenge and created something wonderful.
-Cat Malone, Administrator

Inagural Year: Congratulations on a great year and a beautiful website!
-Andy Willis, VISTA