Maybe you have heard of MakerSpace and just don’t know where to begin? Engage your students, challenge their minds, teach cooperative learning, and more. Learn about what MakerSpace means, how to create your own, how to manage your MakerSpace, what manipulatives to use, what to include in your MakerSpace, and the money necessary (and free “stuff” available). We will also discuss how to get your administration to support your MakerSpace. Free tools will be shared that are ideal for use in a MakerSpace.
What is a MakerSpace?
Defining a MakerSpace is a challenge as it is more of a mindset than an actual “space.” It is a place for students to create, explore, collaborate, fail and try again in a safe, creative, and encouraging environment. Thomas Edison also had two famous quotes that relate to MakerSpace “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” and “There are no rules here–we’re trying to accomplish something.” Both of these quotes are great examples of WHY we do a MakerSpace environment.
So now let’s think about what’s next – the HOW. How do you get started on your own MakerSpace journey? What do you include in your Maker area? Get ready for an engaging and fun journey! Remember the saying slow and steady wins the race, the same is true with MakerSpace. Start SLOW and start SMALL. Build your MakerSpace into what you envision. The slow and steady rate works for various reasons. First and foremost, this will keep you within your budget, keep your sanity, and keep your space meaningful and purposeful.
10 Things to Consider
- The logistics of setting up the actual space. What space do you have? Is there an area of the library or computer lab? Is there a corner in a classroom or even an empty room somewhere in the building? Do you need an actual space?
- What is your starting budget? Do you need solely donations or could you apply for a grant with the PTO?
- Are you a 1:1 or BYOD school? Do you have a laptop cart or tablets available? If so, this gives you many “digital” options. This could be the only “maker” equipment you need.
- Get students’ input! If you want your students to buy-in to the MakerSpace movement, get them involved during the grassroots phases.
- Start small – with just one MakerSpace activity.
- When will your MakerSpace “meet.” Will it be a club during lunch or before/after school? This is another area to start small! This decision may depend on the age and level of your students. In elementary school, you may do it during the library special, an area for students to explore and create. Or during recess or a lunch. In secondary grades, you may also set up the MakerSpace in the library or an extra room (should you be so blessed).
- Ask for any and all donations (even human experts donating their time to teach a skill).
- Start with something that you are already familiar with and comfortable incorporating into your MakerSpace. Maybe it is coding or circuits?
- Establish your clean-up and storage procedures BEFORE day 1. Start routines early.
- Be sure all students understand safety procedures. This includes physical safety and Internet safety.
NCTM (See 5 content areas)
Next Generation Science Standards (Save time by searching by discipline)
MakerSpace Activity Ideas
Slides from the presentation