PALMDALE — Desert Rose Elementary School students will have a new makerspace to be creative, curious and innovative in the arts and science when they can return to campus.

The makerspace covers science, technology, engineerings, arts, and mathematics. Tables are divided by grade level. There is a separate table for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students and then one each for first through fifth grade. A large cabinet has 21 drawers full of art supplies including paint and crayons. There are also Legos, robotics materials, and miscellaneous science equipment.

“Our goal is to watch our students thrive in these areas,” Desert Rose Principal Melanie Pagliaro said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.

Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado said he missed seeing students on school campuses.

“The dreams of careers in STEM and STEAM begin right here in this particular space,” Maldonado said of the importance for a makerspace.

The District converted two under-utilized classrooms into one giant makerspace. All students will have access to the room.

Elena Esquer, assistant superintendent of Educational Services, said the makerspace and future learning environments are a huge part of the Palmdale Promise.

“The focus of a makerspace is making and creating,” Esquer said. “Students will learn through construction, through hands-on experience, and teachers will help to instruct challenges for them and problems for our students to solve.”

Everything in the makerspace is designed to encourage student creativity and curiosity for making and designing. Students will be able to collaborate with their peers or work independently and use hands-on creativity to solve problems.

“I’m sure this makerspace is going to have all of the young kids channel their creativity through the Lego and STEAM and STEM and have a great time at school and help them with their life later on,” student Board member Anthony Estrada said.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, Assemblyman Tom Lackey and the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented certificates of recognition at the ceremony. Jackie Owens, a field assistant for Rep. Mike Garcia, also participated. Also in attendance were Mayor Steve Hofbauer and City Manager J.J. Murphy.

“This school is very special to me,” Board President Dennis Trujillo said.

Trujillo added all of his children attended Desert Rose. His wife also started her teaching career at the school 22 years ago.

“We painted this school,” Trujillo said. “We’ve given it a new cafeteria. We’ve put in drinking fountains; we’ve remodeled some of the classrooms on the other side, and now we’ve given it a makerspace.”

Al Tsai, administrator of Palmdale School District’s Facilities, Maintenance and Operations Department, said the effort to transform the classrooms into a makerspace started about four years ago with stakeholder meetings.

“One of the common themes amongst all those meetings was that the community wanted a special room, a special room to do STEM and STEAM and here we are four years later,” Tsai said.

Sixth-grader Hayley Redenbaugh, a former Desert Rose student, sang the National Anthem at the ceremony. Hayley’s sister Lily, a Desert Rose fifth grader, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I just think it’s amazing; the school’s changed so much for the better,” Hayley said.

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