Montour Elementary School Makerspace Inspires Student Makers

Amanda McDermott

Montour Elementary STEAM Teacher

K-12 Makerspaces Department Chair

LEGO® Education Master Educator

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania


Montour Elementary School in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania created a Brick Makerspace powered by LEGO® Education solutions. The use of brightly-colored bricks, digital lessons and hands-on robotics makes up the makerspace, a learner-centered space giving students opportunities to design, make and think creatively.

Among the materials the students explore are LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3, LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0, and LEGO® Education Simple & Powered Machines, where students learn standards-aligned lessons in science, technology, art, math, language arts, architecture and engineering.

Of the skills being fostered in the space are teamwork, problem-solving and perseverance skills. “One skill that every kid needs more of is working with their peers,” says Amanda McDermott, STEAM Teacher. “It is more important for me for a student to come into my room and know how to fail and persevere through a challenge than for a student to come into my room and get something right the first time,” she continues. The space facilitates collaborative learning, along with the design engineering process and computational thinking.

We like to use the learning terms ‘hands-on, minds-on’ for tactile educational activities that spark motivation and excitement

Amanda McDermott
Montour Elementary STEAM Teacher, LEGO® Education Master, Educator K-12 Makerspaces Department Chair, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

It was a collaborative effort between the community, including students, parents, teachers, administrators and LEGO® Education. “At Montour, we like to use the learning terms ‘hands-on, minds-on’ for tactile educational activities that spark motivation and excitement. The new Brick Makerspace powered by LEGO Education solutions is certainly an inspiring environment where our kids can imagine, design, create, and share ideas with one another. The interplay of imagination and education is really what makes this space so special,” said Dr. Christopher Stone, Superintendent of Montour School District.

McDermott shares that students leave the makerspace proud of what they are learning within the space and excited to share their projects with the other grade levels. Silver McDonald, Head of LEGO® Education North America says, “We look forward to seeing what the students using the new space will imagine, build and create for years to come, and how the 21st century skills they are acquiring will inspire and equip them for their future careers.”

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