Bishop Mark E. Brennan presided over a Dedication Ceremony at OLPH School to celebrate the opening of our McNulty Makerspace on October 9. The colorful and innovative room
serves as a place for students to create, design, build, experiment, problem-solve, and simply MAKE things. Students are engaging in hands-on STEM activities, (now STREAM as Religion and Art are added) using robotics, circuitry, electronics, drones, 3D printing, a Lego wall, and much more. Principal, Dr. Pellechia thanked donors, staff, students, Fr. Arnold, and Director of Development, Jodi Phelan who raised funds for construction and facilitated a $25,000 memorial gift to have the makerspace named after her mother, Jean McNulty. Dr. Pellechia remarked “The maker movement is transforming education. This type of active learning transitions students from passive consumers of information to active creators and innovators. It fosters creativity, curiosity, and iterative thinking.”
A highlight of the ceremony reception was Dr. Pellechia showing Dr. Hargens, Archdiocese of Baltimore Superintendent of Schools how to fly a drone from his smart phone as the drone was taking video footage of the reception. National Junior Honor Society students attended the ceremony to lend a student voice to the event and engaged in maker demonstrations. School parents have been very involved. Jerri Johnson Stewart headed up a task force which brought in the expertise of local maker organizations such as Digital Harbor and Future Makers to help with the planning phase and networking. OLPH parent, Stephanie Hasting praised the project saying, “I am thrilled that my child will have the chance to create, explore, engineer, and problem-solve. I love that there is hand-on learning through experimentation and integration of so many cognitive skills.” The McNulty Makerspace is a hub for numerous classes including art, science, and enrichment as well as a home base for extra-curricular activities such as Robotics Club and competitions, Lego Club, and our annual Maker Fair.
Mrs. Mary Gregorini is collaborating with homeroom and specials teachers to offer guidance and resources. She is also teaching individual classes that introduce and strengthen STREAM skills. Her creativity and resourcefulness are bringing exciting lessons to life in this innovative new lab-type environment. One of her first assignments was to have all students create and sketch a new product that would improve or simplify life. She read the book Rosie Revere Engineer to students and challenged them to be idea- generators and inventors. Our students’ ingenuity yielded many clever ideas such as the Doggy Mop, Eco Lamp, Ocean Vacuum, and Brain Texting. Who knows, we may have the next Galileo or Blasé Pascal in our midst!