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Makerspaces: Getting Started

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Don't know where to start? There are some great resources here that will help you begin your makerspace.

Edutopia. Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started. As the Maker Movement starts to gain momentum, schools that are trying to find ways to foster the do-it-yourself environment can learn a few lessons from another nexus in the universe: public libraries.

Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started

Dale Dougherty, founding editor and publisher of Make Magazine — and the de facto leader of the Maker Movement — has a vision to create a network of libraries, museums, and schools with what he calls “makerspaces” that draw on common resources and experts in each community. Libraries and museums, he said, are easier places to incorporate makerspaces than schools, because they have more space flexibility and they’re trying to attract teens with their programs. “Schools have already got the kids,” Dougherty noted wryly, at the recent American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

One day during the conference, dubbed Maker Monday, focused on the Maker Movement, which emphasizes learning by engaging in tech-related projects. Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey. Our library at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO is an active hub for extracurricular activities.

Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey

We host an Anime Club, monthly Poetry Slams, and Book Buddies, but I felt like we could do more. I wanted something that I could tie to student learning which would promote inquiry, giving students opportunities to solve problems and find answers to questions. Starting a School Makerspace from Scratch. With the National Week of Making behind us, you might be ready to start a makerspace in your school -- but not know where to start.

Will purchasing a costly 3D printer and the latest robotics kit ensure learning and maker success? What are some steps to starting a successful makerspace from scratch? Step 1: Immerse Yourself in Maker Education Before you can build your own community of makers, you need to join one! Immerse yourself in makerspaces by joining a summer maker camp like Exploratorium's Tinkering Fundamentals or the virtual Camp Google for cheap and easy STEM ideas, but most importantly: make stuff! Manufacturing Makerspaces. Kids gather to make Lego robots; teens create digital music, movies, and games with computers and mixers; and students engineer new projects while adults create prototypes for small business products with laser cutters and 3D printers.

Manufacturing Makerspaces

Many libraries across the US have developed makerspaces—places to create, build, and craft—and they are experiencing increased visits and demand as a result. For public libraries, they are places to promote community engagement. For academic libraries, they are places where students and faculty feel welcome to do classwork and research. Fundamentally, makerspaces are a technological leap past library knitting and quilting circles, where patrons and experts have often come together to learn new techniques and train others in a skill. The new tools are a lot flashier, and certainly more expensive than a needle and thread.

How to Start a Makerspace When You're Broke. Everyone’s Favorite Excuse I’ve had the honor and privilege of sharing with hundreds of librarians and educators about our makerspace.

How to Start a Makerspace When You're Broke

Unfortunately, I see many educators hold back on starting a makerspace because of funds.