F-O-U-N-D-R-Y — A Student Makerspace

Guest Contributors /// Jared and Koko, Students at One Stone

One Stone is a student led and directed nonprofit organization with a mission to make students better leaders and the world a better place. We work with high school students to help them connect to their purpose and their passion while equipping them with the 21st-century power skills to realize both. In 2016, One Stone expanded on its community-based programming to launch a radically different high school rooted in our model of student-led, project-based learning that is deeply connected to the community.

Learning at One Stone’s school focuses on four principles:

Knowledge: How might we understand the world?

Skills: How might we develop tools for life?

Creativity: How might we approach challenges?

Mindset: How might we practice with intention?

Interweaving these is the core value of student voice: How might we express who we are with confidence?

When students have the opportunity to take ownership of their education — and in their future — they are empowered to do extraordinary things. Like Jared, Chloe, and Koko, One Stone school students, who have ignited a passion for learning, making, and exploring. Here are their stories, as told by Jared:

At One Stone, students are encouraged to take ownership in learning. One of my favorite examples of this is in our makerspace, which we call the Foundry.

In the Foundry, we have a STEM coach (his name is Woody) who provides guidance and support, but like any good coach, we are the ones who play the game. This allows us to explore things we are passionate about and gives us the tools to learn for ourselves. This makes learning more effective for us students. We work on a plethora of awesome projects here in the Foundry; everything from building servers and maintaining websites to laser engraving and 3D printing.

If there’s anything that encompasses all there is to know about the Foundry, it’s the Foundry Sign. The Foundry Sign was an incredibly important project for us to complete, and it serves an amazing purpose. Not only does it inform people of our kinda weird name for our makerspace, it also demonstrates what we do in the Foundry. When we realized we needed a sign, students signed up to create a letter that represents different aspects of what we do. The end result is a crazy mashup of creativity. There’s a 3D printed letter, a bike chain letter, and even an entire laptop on the sign.

The “O” is a unique letter within the scope of the Foundry Sign. It was one of the few to be completed by more than one student, and it represents something that we had not yet studied in the Foundry — physics.

Koko and Chloe signed up to create the letter “O”. They hadn’t spent the kind of time I had spent in the Foundry, but they are a perfect example of what it’s like to pick up the torch and take a shot at something just because it would be fun. The fact that people are coming into the Foundry to just try something is amazing.

I asked Koko about what the process was like and here’s how she explained it to me:

“The letter ‘O’ in the Foundry sign resembles a Bohr’s model of the carbon element. The carbon element is made up of six protons, six neutrons, and six electrons, as expressed in the “O”. Chloe and I were inspired by the general theme of science. Other ideas, such as a solar system model, were kicked around. It was ultimately decided to create the carbon element because carbon is literally the building block of life.

Chloe and I took a day to plan out the materials needed, including wire, wooden board, fishing wire, golf balls, and spray paint. Over the weekend we got together to gather supplies and assemble it. It was our vision to use styrofoam for the different particles, however, we noticed that styrofoam shrunk when in contact with spray paint. We switched to plastic golf balls instead, and while they didn’t hold paint as well, it was better than the alternative. Overall, this one letter took about three hours to assemble. Collaborating to create something that would have a lasting impact on the One Stone space filled me with excitement and ownership.”

Lasting impact. Excitement. Ownership. This is what we do at One Stone.

To see Jared and his team in action, please connect with One Stone for a visit! Contact One Stone’s community engagement director, Neva Geisler to schedule: neva@onestone.org.


Jared is a student at One Stone. Before coming to One Stone, Jared had no knowledge or experience coding — now he’s a coding wizard. When he’s not coding, making, building, or studying, Jared is sharing his wicked guitar skills at One Stone.

Koko is a student at One Stone, where she dives into community-based learning opportunities. She is interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. When not at school, Koko loves hiking and crazy outdoor adventures.