There are some important words I have highlighted. Makerspace is a shared learning environment where mentors can guide and expertise can be shared. Expertise can come from children’s interests and passion as well as adults. The important idea to remember when creating makerspaces in schools is to aim to create a collaborative environment where learning is done through making/creating stuff.
The thought of beginning a makerspace is exciting but daunting. Space Cost Recruiting Mentors Programming Administrators approval Makerspace is a company in CA committed to helping us succeed in getting started
Most of the information in my talk is pulled from the Makerspace Playbook which is a free pdf Contains: Network of members Project Library Training & Support Material lists, mentor recruiting forms, budget planning lists
Maker Faire now bring in 1000’s of people for weekends to create and share ideas
Characteristics of Makers
Kids who are encouraged to try things many different ways, will take things apart and then look at new and perhaps better ways to put them back together .
Dr. Stuart Brown in his book Play: How it shapes the brain talks about young engineers at the Jet Propulsion Lab and how they are the best and the brightest and yet are the wrong kind of people for the lab. Managers looked into what had changed over the years and found most had not engaged in the sort of play where they would take objects apart and put them back together. The engineers that had done so proved to be much better problem solvers.
Qualities associated with Makers and Makerspaces
“not every student needs to become an engineer ,but they all should be able to think like one when they need to”
Let’s jump into the ingredients for a makerspace
The “space” of a makerspace is the first thing to consider because it will shape the projects you plan.
The goal is to create a “multipurpose” space that can adapt to many activities. Can be something as simple as an art cart to a shop lab with powertools or anything in between
It’s surprising how much can be done with limited space: MOST IMPORTANT: DON’T LET GETTING EVERYTHING EXACTLY RIGHT DETER YOU FROM GETTING YOUR MAKERSPACE GOING.
Ideally the space should be conducive to inspiration, collaboration and conversation.
Try to provide some quiet or solo work areas to balance out the interactive spaces. Every kid has different play styles just like learning styles.
Build in flexibility to the layout of your space will allow you to easily adapt once you get a sense of how the space will be used.
Comfy chairs are a luxury and nice for kids to hang out
Keep in mind that the larger the space, the more people it will take to supervise
You will need to come up with some guidelines to keep the space a safe and positive place to work and learn.
You will want to consider if you will need electrical outlets for hot glue guns or soldering irons.
Having a space to display finished projects is a something to consider.
Once you have a space, you will want to outfit it with materials and equipment. You will also want to think about storage for all of your “stuff” Clear storage containers or open bins on shelves are ideal to store materials.
Ask for donations of recycled materials, tools, small machinery like sewing machines
Tools need storage areas, battery powered devices need batteries or charging stations.
A vacuum is a wonderful thing
Brainstorm on how you can collaborate with other organizations. If your public library has a 3D printer do you need one also?
Starter projects are a great place to get your feet wet When choosing consider the diverse interests and skill sets of the members of your makerspace Make sure the project is open ended Can build on the kids prior interest and knowledge Choose materials that invite questions and thought Think of STEM as a means not an end in itself Provide multiple pathways to complete project (instead of rigid step by step)
Two types of programming: teacher led ( hands-on, design, collaborative) and Independent ( take a concept and turn into a prototype, skill strengthen like sewing, soldering , programming
First figure out what you want to learn…. Concept, skill or both
Cut and Collect, Disney imagineers cut out a collection of images they find interesting and then start arranging them to see if that triggers any ideas
Play with something new: Stimulate ideas by playing with new materials, mylar, electroluminescent wire
See what’s out there…browse the handout I provided online for lots of ideas
Remember to have lots of ideas and incorporate concepts and skills you love
Defining scope: Allow kids to dream big but help kids set realistic goals in terms of time and budget for their projects
Setting Schedules early on in the project will go a long way….Template for a project plan is in Makerspace Playbook (resources section)
Teaching skills keeping it fresh : Don’t‘ get caught in the logistics and forget why you are doing this. Make sure to do things your students want to do and are interested in.
Working together and apart: make sure to give realistic deadlines and allow students enough time to complete projects before moving on to the next. Remember some kids like to work together and others prefer to play alone. Try to maintain a balance.
Much of what I have covered is how you can set up a makerspace. You can find a space, acquire tools and recruit students but the program will not succeed unless you foster a maker mindset
Carol Dweck is a Stanford psychologist and she writes in her book , Mindset about people with a fixed or growth mindset. People with fixed mindsets tend to believe their capabilities are set and are basically out of their control. People with growth mindsets believe that their capabilities can be developed, improved and expanded. Interestingly, many people with fixed mindsets due very well academically while many growth mindset students due poorly as they feel they cant live up to others expectations. The maker mindset is about developing one’s full potential.
You may want to create a makerspace manifesto to remind students and yourself of the maker mindset. Things like Everyone is a maker and our world is what we make it are powerful statements for children.
**For you the number one thing to remember is you don’t need to be an expert. As long as you can help your students find answers you are good to go !
Makerspaces have taken a few different approaches to acquiring materials
No matter how you equip your space it’s likely if you are doing anything interesting there may be some risks involved
Planning for safety involves modeling safe behavior in your own actions Set up a training regimen to make sure makers know how to safely use tools and equipment Post signs and checklists
Get the word out to students, teachers and parents any way you can. Be creative
If you need more kids, identify student makers through teachers, extra curriculars and specials
Come up with an identity: get the school mascot involved, principal, design a logo, have students help choose a fun name.
Find funding: Some schools have used PTO funds, building funds, partnerships with local business, your public library, community grants, Makerspace playbook has lots of ideas
Website or blog is important to publicize, list meetings, schedules and projects We’ll see a video in a bit
Notebooks are good to distribute at the first meeting so each maker has a place to sketch concepts and jot notes
Sara Gold firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Liaison & Service
“serves 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”.
“A Makerspace is a learning environment rich with possibilities”.
Beginnings: What & Why
of the Makerspace
Tools and Materials
Source: Makerspace Playbook School Edition
Nuts and Bolts
What we are doing and why: origins of the Maker movement
Maker Movement was spurred by new
technologies which encourage
2005 MAKE magazine launched by
MAKERSPACE , Sebastopol, CA
2006 First Maker Faire hosted
Believe if you can imagine it you can make it
Seek out opportunities to learn to do new
A community of creative people who help one
another do better
Celebrate other makers
Experimental play is a source of creativity,
inspiration and innovation.
Formal education does not make room for play in
Jet Propulsion Lab
Making is innovative and resourceful
Identify challenges and are persistent
Take risks, are creative & open-minded
Learn to collaborate as well as take and give
Develop a sense of social responsibility
Tools & Toys
Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative
Collaboration by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft.
Space should be conducive to inspiration, collaboration
Balance between promoting social interaction and privacy
Aim for easily changed layouts for your space
Include “hang out “ areas if possible
Assess what your Maker Space requires before
Acquire general-use equipment before task-specific
Keep in mind that equipment begets equipment
Include a first aid kit
Page 10 of Makerspace Playbook has a tool list
Crafts for Kids
Figure out what you want to
Cut and collect
Play with something new
See what’s out there
Teaching new skills and keeping it fresh
Working together and apart
• Making is about
• Everyone is a
• Our world is what
we make it
• It’s all right to
• We help one
another do better
Find an advocate with a wallet
Beg and Borrow
Just in-time purchasing
Partner with other teachers
See Resources in Makerspace Playbook for “Makerspace in a Box” toolkit
Dream Big, Start Small
Ask your Parent Teacher Organization
Wait for critical mass to purchase items
Ask for donations over the summer
Plan for safety
Post safety checklists
Use tools right
Create a set of behavioral expectations and common
safety rules and discuss them with makers
Spread your idea
Identify student makers
Come up with an identity
Setup a website or blog
Set a deadline and meeting dates
Notebooks for students
2014 inaugural year, Corey hosting three events after school from 6-8pm for
students and parents.
1st event in January was to make anything participants wanted to with the goal
being to explore the maker concept.
2nd event was to make games for the school carnival in March
3rd event in April is aimed at making things with 3D modeling software.
Currently do not have drop-in hours
VV Makerspace reflects a conceptual shift in the LMC overall. Information can be made into
something else just like cardboard or wires.
Started planning Fall 2013 for 3-4 events in 2014
Building funds for some light art supplies and glue guns. Most of what we used was recyclable
materials and was donated.
For the 3D printing night, might charge a nominal fee to cover costs of materials or have it
remain free to build interest in technology and process. The PTO and private donations funded
• Inspiration was the
"An avalanche begins with
• 2200 students and 150
staff and almost every
person created a
• Many teachers
incorporated the activity
into their lesson plans.
• Project inspired by Dreaming
Up: A Celebration of
Celebration by Christy Hale
• First graders rotated through
5 stations using a variety of
materials to build.
• Dedicated two class sessions
so each student could visit
• Each station had an iPad to
allow students to document
Book Jacket Image: Lee and Low
Started with some chess sets and
Makey Makey sets