What, Why and How of a Makerspace in your school.
WHAT: What makes a makerspace?
According to the International Society for Technology in Education, ISTE, it is a space that:
- promotes learning through play and experimentation;
- is cross-disciplinary, with elements of art, science and craftsmanship; and
- offers tools and mater4ials that encourage students to create rather than consume.
WHY: Why would your school need a makerspace?
edutopia explains pretty clearly why there is so much hype around Makerspaces, and we can’t really disagree!
We are constantly bombarded with the idea that the U.S. is “behind” the rest of the world in STEM education, that our students need to be able to think critically, problem-solve and collaborate in order to succeed in the future they will inhabit. (Forget the fact that critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration are part of what schools should be designed to support in the first place.) Makerspaces provide creative time and, well, space for people of all ages to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, bounce ideas off one another and build something together. These spaces don’t always include technology, since some prototypes and designs can be built out of anything or may include various stages of design that move from analog to digital and back again, but many do include technology. In the 3D printing and design thinking session, I was lucky enough to see how students might create a 3D design using CAD software, only to discover that their scale was off or that their prototype just plain won’t work.
HOW: Now, the real question… HOW can you start this in your school?
- ISTE: “8 Questions to Ask Before Creating a Makerspace”
- MindShift: “Launching a Makerspace: Lessons Learned From a Transformed School Library”
- ISTE: “Create a School Makerspace in 3 Simple Steps”
- MindShift: “Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started.”
- edutopia: “Designing a School Makerspace”
- EducationDIVE: “Simple and Cost-Effective Projects to Begin ‘making’ in the classroom”
- Tech & Learning: “Making the Grade: How Schools are Creating and Using Makerspaces”
- makered.org: “Makerspace Playbook: School Edition”
- edutopia: “Resources for Maker Education”