F.E. Bellows Elementary School students, who had been studying about the history and geography of New York State, recently created salt dough topographical maps of the state to further enhance their understanding of the content.

With assistance from their teachers and William McKeon, the library media specialist at the school, the students applied a number of mathematical and scientific concepts to design their maps and worked collaboratively with their peers. They shared ideas and strategies as they mixed and shaped the state’s mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, plateaus and plains.

The hands-on learning experience was part of the Makerspace program, which encourages open-ended exploration through tinkering, creativity and inquiry.