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            by Alicia Lopez Oyhenart

Teachers Corner

markerspaces

PART 1 :

PART 2 :

introduction

The turn of the 21st century has signaled a shift in the types of skillsets that have real, applicable value in a rapidly advancing world. In this landscape, creativity, design, and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations, as tools such as robotics, 3D printers, and web-based 3D modeling applications, etc. become accessible to more people. Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration.

 

By providing opportunities in entrepreneurialism, exposing students to new skills and technologies and opening doors to new career paths, makerspaces can help to prepare students for the future and ignite a passion for lifelong learning. Martinez and Stager (2013) argue that making exposes young learners to engineering skills which provides a helpful context for some of the more abstract concepts in math or science.  Furthermore, “for older students, making combines disciplines in ways that enhance the learning process for diverse student populations and opens doors to unforeseen career paths” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 3).  Fleming (2015) further expounds on the valuable characteristics encouraged by maker learning, such as the development of a growth mindset and a toleration for risk and failure, arguing that “failure is a necessary step on the road to success and innovation” (p. 9). Finally, as Kalil (2010) reports, “The maker mindset empowers people not just to seek out jobs in STEM or creative fields, but to make their own jobs and industries, depending on their interests and the emerging needs they see in a rapidly changing society” (as cited in Pepplar & Bender, 2013, p. 23).

What IS A MARKERSPACE

We might say….

A place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.

‘the makerspace is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, various milling devices, and more’

 

• Makerspaces come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise. A collection of tools does not define a Makerspace. Rather, we define it by what it enables: making.

 

----- Makerspace Playbook, School Edition (2013)

 

But more seriously this is a question we encounter frequently and it’s not always easy to define.  Here’s why: each makerspace is uniquely designed to meet the needs and interests of the community that created it. Another reason for the difficulty with defining makerspaces is that they are found in such diverse environments.

 

For example, there are community makerspaces established in warehouses, garages, churches or community centres. There are museum makerspaces, hospital makerspaces, as well as makerspaces located in public, academic and school libraries. Each one has its own unique environment, atmosphere, clientele and purpose.

 

However, in spite of these differences, research has shown that even diverse makerspaces share unifying themes.  In a comparative case study of three unique makerspaces by Sheridan et al. (2014), the authors found that in spite of the distinct nature of these spaces, they “share an ethos that allows us to categorize them as the same kind of a space” (p. 526). Among the key themes that emerged from their study, Sheridan et al. (2014) identified the following key makerspace features as being shared by all of the spaces they studied:

 

1. Makerspaces are multidisciplinary in both approach and in the products created and this “multidisciplinarity fuels engagement and innovation” (p. 526).

 

2. Makerspaces are a blend of both formal learning environments and “informal communities of practice” (p. 526). This hybrid learning arrangement “includes many of the ways of seeing, valuing and thinking, and doing found in participatory cultures, yet incorporates pedagogical structures found in more formal, studio-based settings” (p. 527).

 

3. The nature of learning in makerspaces is “deeply embedded in the experience of making. These spaces value the process involved in making – in tinkering, in figuring things out, in playing with materials and tools” (p. 528).

In order to gain clarity and develop a fuller picture of the nature and function of makerspaces, it’s useful to examine a variety of makerspace definitions and related terms. What follows is a series of definitions that I have gleaned from my readings on makerspaces and participatory learning in libraries.

 

Makerspace Definitions:

As my research is focused on makerspaces in school libraries, one of the best and most thorough descriptions of an educational makerspace is from Loertscher, Preddy and Derry (2013), authors who represent the various fields of librarianship:

“A Makerspace is an evolutionary step in library facilities’ design and programming. It is a destination for thinking, learning, doing, creating, producing, and sharing; a space that takes advantage of multiple learning styles. It is a place to reinvent old ideas with new conceptual frameworks, utilize advancements in thinking and doing, and investigate and construct a hybrid of fine arts, sciences, crafts, industrial technologies, foods, inventions, textiles, hobbies, service learning, digital media, upcycling, STEM/ STEAM, and DIY (do it yourself) and DIT (do it together) concepts. In this space, which can be physical and/or virtual, the intersection of formal and informal learning can include designing, playing, tinkering, collaborating, inquiring, mentoring, experimenting, problem solving, and inventing. Through actively engaging in the Makerspace, patrons take command of their own learning, with the potential for demonstrating entrepreneurial behavior. Through the development of a Makerspace, the library can expand and extend connections to community and learning organizations, businesses, families, and mentors throughout the world. These connections can provide teachers, partnerships, sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Every library Makerspace is unique and always in transition. A Makerspace has the potential to transform a patron from a consumer to a creator.” (Loertscher, D., Preddy, L., Derry, B.,2013, p.48).

 

Fleming further explains the function and purpose of the school library makerspace:

Sheridan et al. (2014), who studied an adult makerspace, an all-ages community makerspace, and a children’s museum makerspace defined such spaces in the following manner:

John J. Burke, principal librarian and director of the Gardner-Harvey Library of Miami University of Ohio, describes Makerspaces, hackerspaces, or fab labs in the following manner:

Leslie B. Preddy is a school librarian and author of the book, School Library Makerspaces, Grades 6-12.  Preddy defines school library makerspaces in the following manner:

Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager, authors of Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom share their definition of a makerspace in their book:

Increase visibility for projects by repurposing public common spaces. Students work in the gym creating cardboard furniture prototypes.  Photo Credit: Lisa Yokan

Heather Michele Moorefield-Lang, Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science, defines makerspaces in the following manner:

Chris Anderson, author of Makers: The New Industrial Revolution and editor-in-chief ofWired magazine, shares how the maker movement is influencing education, explaining how this influence is currently manifesting in schools.  His definition explains another purpose for makerspaces in educational communities:

Works Cited

 

Anderson, C. (2012). Makers: The new industrial revolution. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart

 

Burke, J. J. (2014). Makerspaces: a practical guide for librarians (Vol. 8). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

 

Fleming, L. (2015). Worlds of making: Best practices for establishing a makerspace for your school.

 

Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Gcaa Videos. (2013, August 31).

What is a Makerspace? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NUjR9l6vyE

What may happen…If you build it, will they come? Just because you create a makerspace in your school doesn't guarantee that your community will embrace it. Students who have had all personal choice removed by traditional educational models can be passive and feel overwhelmed when faced with real-world problems or design challenges. Academic passivity is common in schools where students swallow content and regurgitate it on multiple-choice tests. Students simply want to know how to get the "A." This type of learning does not stick.

 

Teachers may find the role of facilitator (or "guide on the side") uncomfortable if they are used to being the "sage on the stage." New technology in these spaces may be intimidating. Teachers need encouragement and professional development to change their mindsets and become facilitators of learning.

 

How do you change your culture and ensure that your shiny new makerspace will empower students to acquire 21st-century skills? How do you change the culture of student apathy to encourage a mindset of doing? Follow these steps and design tips to build a culture of making and active learning.

Engage Students

Encourage and support student-centered work.

Find students who are passionate about tinkering and making, offer a place to work, help with student documentation and course accreditation, and then continue reassuring them throughout the process. If students don't know what problem to tackle, direct them to real-world challenges.

 

Establish a culture of learning by doing.

Start the first day with something simple like the Marshmallow Challenge. Use design thinking to manage projects and encourage students to make something, test it, and reiterate. Celebrate failures, both large and small, by insisting that students document (PDF) the learning that results. Honor the outcomes by publicly showcasing projects, either physically through a gallery experience or online through a class website, Twitter, or other social media. As your projects grow in scope, ask your administration for permission to use hallways and common spaces. Think about how your room is laid out, and challenge students to reconfigure it so that it better fits their needs. Lay out supplies so that students can get things by themselves without asking. Small changes like these can empower students and shift their thinking from passive to active.

 

Support Educators

Encourage "early adopters" of maker lessons.

Help them connect to others doing this work, both inside and outside your school. It is incredibly powerful to know that you are not alone, and inspirational to see what others are trying. Empower them to share, either informally or at a faculty meeting.

Create a professional development day.

Teachers repurposing objects during a professional development class on Design Thinking and Making at Scarsdale Teachers Institute.

Photo Credit: Lisa Yokana

Initiate a summer course that helps teachers adopt the "guide on the side" mindset. Organize a field trip to a local makerspace to experience firsthand the dynamic of the space and expose your colleagues to both low- and high-tech maker projects.

 

Write curriculum together.

Use the collective to provide feedback. Expose teachers to new technology through thinking routines (PDF) that foster deep noticing. Reassure them that they don't have to be experts, and encourage them to try the first iteration and learn from students' feedback.

 

"Occupy" the Space

Increase visibility for projects by repurposing public common spaces. Students work in the gym creating cardboard furniture prototypes.

Photo Credit: Lisa Yokana

 

Start somewhere.

Hack some existing spaces: your own classroom, a computer lab, or a corner of the library that could become a Genius Bar. Enlist students in the redesign. Transform some rooms with moveable furniture and white boards, or simply rearrange what is already there so that the space functions better.

 

Publicly celebrate change.

Utilize bright wall graphics and way-finding signage to promote new spaces. If possible, use storefront windows to promote curiosity and engage the community in the activities within. Student work, both finished and in process, should be prominently displayed to heighten awareness. Encourage "ownership" of the space by allowing both teachers and students to reconfigure it using flexible, moveable furniture.

 

Promote awareness of the senses.

Consider sight, sound, and touch in defining the space. Students can create large, noisy areas or small, private/quiet enclosures with moveable partitions. Color and lighting can be employed to excite or soothe, creating different moods. Furnishings can range from soft, comfortable seating to more durable group worktables. Overhead ceiling lighting can be supplemented with task lighting to create more intimate work areas.

 

Let students' enthusiasm shape new spaces and announce change. We all want our students to be prepared for the future, and incremental, organic change ensures that your school will be ready for a makerspace.

 

 

Benefits & Opportunities

The benefits of educational makerspaces are many and varied. While they do not come without their challenges, makerspaces can have a significant impact on student learning and development. In fact, makerspaces were recently identified as one of six important developments in educational technology, “Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration” (p. 38). According to the NMC (2015), makerspaces have the potential to effectively address the necessary skillsets for students in the 21st Century (p. 38). What follows is an explanation of some of the potential benefits that can be gained through maker learning and well established makerspaces.

 

Making and Tinkering are Powerful and Empowering Ways to Learn

“Ultimately, the interdisciplinary and empowering natures of these makerspaces can help prepare youth for a future we can’t yet imagine” (Davee, Regalla & Chang, 2015, p. 10).

Makerspaces within schools and school libraries provide powerful contexts and opportunities for students to learn and develop new skills.  As the makerspace movement “draws upon the innately human desire to make things using our hands and our brains”, school makerspaces can provide this necessary outlet for students, fueling engagement, creativity and curiosity at the same time (Fleming, 2015, p.2). For example, a research study conducted by Small (2014) found that “students who participated in activities involving innovation were inquisitive, imaginative and motivated. They wanted to solve real problems that could help people” (as cited in Moorefield-Lang, 2015, p. 108).

 

Makerspace learning can also empower students, helping them to shift from being passive consumers of information and products to active creators and innovators.

As Martinez and Stager (2013) assert, “Making lets you take control of your life, be more active, and be responsible for your own learning” (p. 29). Furthermore, it is the process of making that emerges as a powerful experience for students, not necessarily the completion of a final product. As Burke (2014) explains, “What is made may not matter at all; it can still influence the thought process, vision, and ability to connect of a learning maker.  These abilities can enhance a person’s thinking and work in many different fields” (p.13). As Laura Fleming (2015), one of the first school librarians to pioneer a makerspace within her high school library, attests, makerspaces cultivate a multitude of advantages for students:

 

Maker education fosters curiosity, tinkering, and iterative learning, which in turn leads to better thinking through better questioning. I believe firmly that this learning environment fosters enthusiasm for learning, student confidence, and natural collaboration. Ultimately the outcome of maker education and educational makerspaces leads to determination, independent and creative problem solving, and an authentic preparation for real world by simulating real-world challenges (p. 48).

 

Makerspaces are Learner-Centered Opportunities

“When we allow children to experiment, take risks, and play with their own ideas, we give them permission to trust themselves. They begin to see themselves as learners who have good ideas and can transform their own ideas into reality” (Martinez & Stager, 2013, p. 36).

As Martinez and Stager (2013) argue, “Making is a stance that puts the learner at the center of the educational process and creates opportunities that students may never have encountered themselves” (p. 30).  In a maker classroom or library, the teacher acts as a mentor and at times as a learner himself, as students are enabled to bring their own skills and ideas to the forefront. According to Kurti, Kurti and Fleming (2014), makerspaces encourage independent exploration and “owning the learning experience opens unexplored horizons to students because independent thinkers have the uncanny ability to strike out into uncharted territory” (p. 20). Makerspaces provide flexible learning arrangements that promote both autonomy and collaboration, enabling students to test out their own ideas and innovations.

 

Makerspaces Offer Authentic Learning Experiences Connected to the Real World

“Schools are turning to makerspaces to facilitate activities that inspire confidence in young learners, and help them acquire entrepreneurial skills that are immediately applicable in the real world” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 39).

Authentic, real-world experiences engage children, enabling them to see beyond their own context to understand the applications of what they are learning and doing.  Maker learning is designed to provide such authentic experiences.  As Martinez and Stager (2014) report, “Makers are constructing knowledge as they build physical artifacts that have real-world value” enabling kids to “solve real problems with their own inventions”.  Fleming (2015) also addresses the networked, outside-of-the-four-walls nature of makerspace learning, arguing that makerspaces “offer far wider spheres of communication and enables a critical mass of learning to be achieved globally rather than necessarily locally” (p. 10). Finally, Burke (2014) describes an example of a high school chemistry class maker activity, where students were studying ions and designing 3-D models of molecules.  Burke (2014) reports that the maker activity portion of the learning “makes it more interesting and gives them [the students] a chance to learn new software, which they will have to do later in life.  It has real-world connection for students beyond what they are learning in chemistry” (p. 27).

 

Makerspaces Engage Community and Invite Cross-generational Learning

“Community is the defining element of the maker movement on both a local and international scale”, and as communities, makerspaces exemplify the following qualities: co-working, collaboration, teaching, learning and an open sharing of ideas (Burke, 2014, p. 12). Makerspaces invite local “experts” to share their skills and passions with students so that they in turn can share with others, thus bringing the community into the classroom. Furthermore, there is often a role-reversal involved in makerspace communities.  For example, Burke (2014) reports on a makerspace in an academic setting where “Students, staff, and professors have regularly come to participate in workshops.  The experience is really creating a community of peers in that faculty and staff members are often learning from students” (p. 91).

 

Makerspaces also invite cross-generational learning and lifelong learning (Fleming 2015). As Peppler and Bender (2013) report, cross-generational can range from “parents with expertise in fixing or modifying cars, to grandparents who sew or crochet, to aunts and uncles who carve at home in a woodshop. Makerspaces are a place for individuals with a range of expertise to share their passions” (p. 27). Much like libraries, makerspaces are designed as an entire community invitation, offering “something for everyone

 

Makerspaces are Inter-disciplinary Reflections of Real Life

Similar to school libraries, makerspaces promote inter-disciplinary learning and knowledge, effectively dissolving the artificial barriers that schools create for subject areas. Martinez and Stager (2013) argue against these subject distinctions, stating, “the real world doesn’t work that way! Architects are artists. Craftsmen deal in aesthetics, tradition and mathematical precision. Video game designers rely on computer science. Engineering and industrial design are inseparable.  The finest scientists are often accomplished musicians” (p. 2). Makerspaces can create a more realistic environment that reflects how professionals approach their work. Peppler and Bender (2013) also discuss how makerspace “cross-disciplinary and interest-centeredness contrasts with traditional school participation in which disciplines are isolated from each other and problems or projects are imposed upon learners” (p. 27). Makerspaces promote an innovative blend of disciplines that can ignite problem solving and spark new invention.

Makerspaces Can Function as Catalysts for Change

 

“Makerspace education also has the potential to empower young people to become agents of change in their communities” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 38).

Finally, as Peppler and Bender (2013) assert, “it’s clear that the maker movement is an innovative way to reimagine education” (p. 26). Fleming (2015) also supports the view that makerspaces can support the redesign of school learning opportunities, stating: I firmly believe that makerspaces are more than capable of driving real and sustained systemic change from within the system…That, in my opinion, has things exactly the right way around: real change has to come from within the system, from a growing recognition of a need for change in the schools and classrooms themselves (p. 55).

 

Works Cited

 

Burke, J. J. (2014). Makerspaces: a practical guide for librarians (Vol. 8). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

 

Davee, S., Regalla, L., & Chang, S. (2015, May). Makerspaces highlights of select literature.Retrieved from http://makered.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Makerspace-Lit-Review-5B.pdf

 

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., and Freeman, A. (2015). NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved fromhttp://cdn.nmc.org/media/2015-nmc-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf

 

 

How to create a makerspace in any space

The first step in creating a makerspace is to identify the focus of the space and the skills that will be taught. Depending on the focus of the makerspace a certain amount of space and specialized equipment could be necessary. Many makerspaces are focused around a particular learning style. The focus of any makerspace is hands-on learning for users, and this aspect is illustrated by Caitlin Bagley in her book,Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, “…makerspaces encourage collaborative learning that has a focus on interpersonal and small group skills as well as creating a sense of accountability.”

 

In order to create a well-functioning makerspace, space and equipment provided should be selected carefully to ensure that the desired activities can take place. Another consideration for a makerspace is the age of the participants. Makerspaces that will be used primarily by children, rather than adults, may have a stronger emphasis on collaborative learning.

 

The second step to create a makerspace, in any organization, is to select a location. The size of the space available for the makerspace may have an impact on the focus and equipment. One important fact regarding makerspaces is that there is no perfect model or formula that must be followed. In fact, it is not necessary to have a space set aside solely for use as a makerspace. If there are available study rooms, meeting rooms, or classrooms that are not always in use they can easily be converted into a makerspace. Converting a room into a temporary makerspace can be easily accomplished by bringing in the equipment for the maker activities.

 

In order to have a makerspace, there are very few requirements. According to John Waters, the author ofWhat Makes a Great Makerspace?, makerspaces do not have to be elaborate, “A successful in-school makerspace provides kids with a variety of tools and materials and the freedom to create.”  The emphasis in makerspaces is not on the space or equipment but on the creative learning of users.

 

The final step in the creation of a makerspace is to select the equipment. According to Aaron Kemp, author of The Makerspace Workbench, a basic makerspace might include: creativity, computing technology, soldering irons, hand tools, and power tools. Larger and more specialized makerspaces might also have standing power tools, 3D printers, and a laser engraver. Depending on the focus for the makerspace, educators may want to obtain particular computer software applications or tools for sewing, art, and craft projects.

 

Kemp believes that educators do not need to purchase specific equipment to have a great makerspace, “Makerspaces thrive on the creativity and imagination of the Makers inside, and that is surely something you cannot buy.” The tools that support the learning activities and programs related to the focus of the Makerspace are what should be acquired to use in the space. Basic tools that foster creativity and innovation are all that are needed for success.

 

By following these three steps, educators can create and adapt a makerspace to fit any organization.  Due to the focus on hands-on and creative learning, makerspaces are an ideal way for students to learn a variety of skills outside of the traditional classroom environment. Many educators create makerspaces focused on teaching twenty-first-century skills. These skills are important for students to learn so that they are more prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

 

For educators, the most important points regarding makerspace creation are that makerspaces can be developed in just about any space and the only requirement is the creativity of the learner. As long as the space available is large enough to accommodate hands-on learning of users and provides equipment that supports the focus, then a successful makerspace can be established.

 

Makerspace Websites

 

Where would makers be without great Internet resources? Check out the following websites:

Make: - Includes project instructions, the Maker Shed supplies store, project plans, videos, event listings, and more. Make: sponsors Maker Faires around the world.

 

Maker Ed - An education-specific site. Sign up to be part of Maker Corps, an initiative to increase the capacity of youth-serving organizations nationwide to engage youth and families in making.

 

MakerSpace - An online community from Maker Media. Includes a very helpful forum.

 

DIY.org - Browse other people’s projects, share your projects, learn new maker skills, and buy supplies. Choose from the excellent DIY official skill patches.

 

Adafruit - Find supplies for makers, maker project plans, maker resources, and lots of maker project ideas. Projects are easy to browse, with a photo for each.

 

Creating Self-Sustaining Recess/Lunch-Time Makerspace Visits - This blog on ElementaryEdTech.com lays out the steps that the Ravenswood School District took to create a makerspace. The blog shares lessons learned and concrete instructions on how to start a makerspace at an elementary school.

Videos About Makerspaces

 

Lighthouse Creativity Lab project videos.

 

Extreme By Design documentary about the Design for Extreme Affordability class at Stanford University’s Institute of Design (aka the d.school). In the course, students create products that may save thousands of lives in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other developing countries they visit. Ralph King developed curriculum to be used alongside the movie to enhance students’ learning.

 

50 TED Talks on Education.

 

• A TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”

 

• A TED Talk by Make: magazine publisher Dale Dougherty, “We are makers.” See sample maker tools, like Arduino boards, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites, and learn how we are all makers.

 

Makerspace and Maker Organizations

Maker Faires

Maker Ed

MakerState

How to Create a Makerspace in the Classroom

Because the art of making is inherent to the very fabric of our culture, it’s central to 21st learning.

 

Childhood has long been a time when young minds are allowed – indeed, encouraged – to play and “make.” It’s important to understand that allowing students to be makers opens the doors to both personalized and authentic learning.

 

The current Maker Movement in education puts greater emphasis on allowing students to imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, formatively learn, experiment, collaborate, share, and – most of all – dream of possibilities. Creating a classroom makerspace seems to be a natural progression in today’s schools.

Makerspaces Are Making a Mark

Today, more and more schools are adding educational makerspaces to classrooms across all levels:  elementary, middle, and high school. In the makerspace environment, students are set free to be makers limited only by their imagination. The makerspace mixes all aspects of STEM (Language, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), and allows for creativity in an exploration of “what if.”

The growing popularity of makerspaces is reflected at education trade shows and conferences in USA , where the space given over to maker vendors, maker presentations, maker playgrounds, and maker possibilities continues to expand.

 

Your To-Do List for Creating a Makerspace

So, how do you establish a makerspace in your classroom? There’s a host of resources available to help you get started, but consider the following steps to jump-start your efforts:

 

 

1. Select an area for your makerspace. You want enough room for three to four students to work at one time.

 

2. Add technology. A possibility:  You may already have a display area to project ideas. If not, consider adding a interactive whiteboard, a device that turns an ordinary whiteboard or blank wall into an interactive whiteboard. You might also try one or more of these solutions:

 

• The DeskBoard mobile cart from Boxlight, a height- and tilt-adjustable desk surface that can be made interactive via an attached ultra-short-throw interactive projector. The DeskBoard is easy to adjust and can accommodate students interacting both at the screen and in a desktop environment.

 

• A height-adjustable, interactive table, which is ideal for group learning activities.

 

• The  document camera, for creating vibrant projects with high-definition images or video.

 

• classroom software, for integrating all the classroom technology, and the collaboration and assessment app, which lets schools and students get the most from their mobile devices.

 

3. Gather storage containers. Who doesn’t love shopping at arts and craft stores, hardware stores? (Did you know you can actually buy empty paint cans? These work great for storing various tools.) You will need plenty of assorted bins and baskets for storing supplies. There is nothing quite as exciting and perplexing as receiving two huge trash bags of recycled items at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday and having nowhere to put them except behind, in front, and on top of your desk!

 

4. Ask for donations. Send letters to parents and grandparents, as well as to local stores, associations, and agencies. Really scour your community for possible connections. You need the “nothing ventured, nothing gained” mentality for approaching anyone and everyone for mundane and STEM-related materials for your makerspace. I once read about a class that received a donation of 1,000 ping-pong balls, wooden spools, and paint stirrers. I’m guessing they are still making amazing things with that donation.

 

5. Pack and play. Trust us. No excuses. Really. Otherwise you will be overrun. Think “organized chaos”! In all seriousness, keeping your makerspace organized makes it easier to see when certain items need to be replenished.

 

6. Rules rule. Every good learning makerspace needs rules. Keep them simple. I suggest posting these rules: “Plan. Persevere. Put Away.” Hint: Keeping the makerspace organized should be one of your top classroom jobs.

 

7. Make a wish. Do you covet a 3D printer or other cutting-edge technology tool? Ask and you may receive, but also keep your eyes out for small grants that could help you obtain those items. Again, a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” attitude goes a long way toward tricking out your makerspace.

 

Further Inspiration and Support

 

Do you need further inspiration and support for your plans? The makerspace community is very generous – you’ll find they are happy to freely share information about how they built a space, the lessons they learned, and how to run a makerspace.

 

Would you rather browse?  Check out Pinterest.

Reference Books

The ever-evolving Maker Movement has inspired lots of reference books to help justify the concept, design a space, and plan activities. Here are some great ones:

 

• The Art of Tinkering by Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich

 

• Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff by Curt Gabrielson

 

Design Thinking Resources

 

K12 Lab Wiki - The Stanford d.school Wiki Space for Design Thinking.

 

Design Thinking for Educators - Includes a toolkit with instructions to explore Design Thinking.

 

Stanford d.school’s Bootcamp Bootleg - includes an active toolkit to support your design thinking practice.

 

Here’s hoping that makerspaces become as central to classrooms as reading corners and math manipulative shelves! Flexible thinking, problem solving, and collaboration are all 21st century habits that a makerspace can encourage in you and your students. Have other ideas?  TRY THEM !!!

 

•  “Make a Maker PDF”  with  eight great ways to turn your students into makers.

ISSUE #153

2017

Buenos Aires

© 2002-2017 E-teachingOnline · All Rights Reserved

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markerspaces introduction What IS A MARKERSPACE
Benefits & Opportunities How to create a makerspace in any space How to Create a Makerspace in the Classroom
markerspaces introduction What IS A MARKERSPACE
Benefits & Opportunities How to create a makerspace in any space How to Create a Makerspace in the Classroom
markerspaces introduction What IS A MARKERSPACE
Benefits & Opportunities How to create a makerspace in any space How to Create a Makerspace in the Classroom
markerspaces introduction
What IS A MARKERSPACE
Benefits & Opportunities How to create a makerspace in any space How to Create a Makerspace in the Classroom