Kindergarten Fashionista

Dreaming Big in the Elliott Elementary Innovation Lab

By: Michael O’Day
May 08, 2024
When you step into the Elliott Elementary Innovation Lab, you'll find a world where imagination knows no bounds.

When you step into the Elliott Elementary Innovation Lab, you'll find a world where imagination knows no bounds. Started just two years ago in the fall of 2022, this makerspace has rapidly evolved into a dynamic hub for creativity and innovation. "This makerspace just keeps evolving and getting better over time, so I can't wait to see what else we are able to add to it in the future," said Ms. Ashley Gardner, an Educational Technologist, the visionary behind the Innovation Lab.

Open to all students in our Pre-K through 2nd-grade, the Innovation Lab embodies the principles of student voice and choice, fostering an environment where young minds can explore, experiment, and create. "This space is all about student voice and choice and trying new things," explains Gardner. Depending on the task, students have the freedom to choose what they want to learn, how they want to learn, and how they want to demonstrate their learning.

Utilizing the Engineering Design Process, students embark on a journey of inquiry and discovery. They begin by asking questions, often inspired by books they've read or big ideas in their curriculum. Then, they imagine possible solutions or responses and craft a plan. Once the plan is in place, students have access to a vast array of tools and materials, from computers and a green screen to paint and 3D pens, from Lego blocks to special kid-safe cardboard saws and screws.

"One of my favorite things about facilitating this space is that we have a huge focus on the growth mindset," Gardner said. "Students are heavily encouraged to try new things. If and when they encounter problems or failure, we celebrate those as opportunities to learn and grow." 

Amidst this culture of exploration and growth, one kindergarten student's journey stands out. A budding fashionista, she embraced the spirit of the Innovation Lab, unleashing her creativity and determination to become a designer and influencer in her own right.

"It all started with a simple idea and a long piece of paper," recounts Gardner with a smile. "And now, as her designs grace the halls of our school, she reminds us all that anything is possible with a little imagination and a lot of determination!"

This fashionista wasn't content with paper; she had bigger dreams. With just a little help from her teacher, she embarked on a quest to transform her paper into a wearable masterpiece by researching skirt-making, selecting an eye-catching fabric, utilizing her budding measuring skills, and carefully cutting out her creation.

From sketch to snip, this kindergarten fashionista has shown us all what it means to dream big and create fearlessly. 

Open modal Return to top