Developing a Makerspace provides a place for the resources and guidance for students to create. Having a designated space to make things allows students to explore and transform ideas into models and prototypes. A Makerspace fosters the 4C’s of the 21st Century Learning Skills.
Since resources vary, and are often scarce, a Makerspace could be in a dedicated space or it could be part of a shared space. While having a 3D Printer and Power Tools is nice, I have seen amazing creations made from things like empty yogurt cups, pencils, wire, magnets, and potato chips.
Once you designate a space, equipping it can be easy and economical. Reach out to Teachers and Parents, I am sure everyone has some tools or materials they could donate. Old computers and electronics make wonderful projects. Cardboard and packing materials can be transformed into engineering masterpieces. Parents tend to be more generous for hands on activities, and may have resources to share. Ask the local Home Improvement store for scraps of wood and other materials that may get tossed out.
The Makerspace is a place for all classes to share and is not just about STEM. Rather than just read about a Roman Aqueduct, a student will have a better appreciation of the concept by actually building a model of one.
I am very fortunate that at Saint Paul’s School in Clearwater, we have a dedicated space that was created as part of an overall renovation project. While we do have a 3D Printer, much of the other tools and materials has been provided by the generosity of parents and staff.
Following is a list of resources that you may find helpful in developing a Makerspace at your school and joining the Maker Movement! Please contact me if you need any help or advice on developing a Makerspace.
C-TEC Conference PowerPoint: Makerspace Development
Guides and Equipment Lists:
62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer ISBN 978-0761152439
Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery ISBN 978-1680450262
Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation ISBN 978-1457183744
Make: Wearable Electronics ISBN 978-1449336516
The Basic Soldering Guide Handbook ISBN 978-1500531140
STEM to STEAM ISBN 978-1452258331