Intramurals are often associated with sports, but Marshalltown Schools fourth graders are exercising their minds with programs at all six district elementary schools.
Makerspace, a program which encourages creativity and design, and computer coding activities are being enjoyed by fourth graders around the district on Wednesdays after school.
“Fourth graders had a chance to sign up, and they just get to experience different activities where they can make or build,” said Fisher Elementary teacher librarian Alicia Patten, whose students put their minds to work building and crafting with Legos, straw connectors, popsicle sticks and more this week.
Patten said the Makerspace activities allow students a lot of freedom to create with the materials they are given. She said such activities allow students to practice engineering and design skills in a fun environment.
“I liked creating my own mailbox with popsicle sticks and hot glue,” said Fisher student Esteban Bravo Hernandez of his favorite activity this week.
Esteban said it is exciting to jump into new projects where he gets to build something.
Fellow fourth grader Yi Thai also said she enjoys the building activities.
“I liked using the straw connectors and Legos, and I want to try the blocks (KEVA planks),” she said.
Yi Thai said it was nice to have fun while also learning something new.
Computer coding is another important 21st century skill, and the fourth grade intramural program is allowing students to develop those abilities.
One activity this week saw students at Anson Elementary use coding to move a character through a maze. Smiles and laughs were common during the maze activity, and students showed they were up to the challenge.
“I have enjoyed working with students during this intramural program. It’s fun to see them collaborating while using critical thinking skills to solve problems,” Patten said.