background preloader

Makerspaces: Getting Started

Facebook Twitter

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

Edutopia. More and more schools are coming to value maker education and exploring ways to create makerspaces in their schools. Many schools are discussing how they might utilize their library to facilitate this. As my school has increased our commitment to constructionist learning and maker education over the last few years, we have done so in close collaboration with our school library. In exploring the relationship between the school library and school makerspace, it's not difficult to see why conversations about the growth of makerspaces are often tied to the conversation about the future of libraries. Both makerspaces and libraries are constructivist learning spaces that share a number of common goals, while approaching them in different ways and through very different material resources. Similar Yet Distinct Makerspaces and libraries are sites of informal learning. Libraries and makerspaces are inherently interdisciplinary spaces. Makerspaces and libraries are more than just resource closets.

Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started | MindShift | KQED News. 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. 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. “Why are you here?” Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey | Tech Tidbits. Our library at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO is an active hub for extracurricular activities. 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. My assistant and I began looking at innovative library programs and community partnerships.

Many of the teacher librarians in my professional network have been expanding their libraries by adding makerspace opportunities, classroom collaboration, and even 3-D printers. Makerspaces are a natural evolution for libraries. No need to reinvent the wheel We have great models to guide us as we select the equipment to purchase and the procedures to follow. Where to get the money? There are several online fundraising sites to help raise funds for our venture, such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe.com, and adoptaclassroom.org.

Next steps See also: 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! Go to the public library or a community makerspace and learn Arduino, coding, etc.

Some easy ways into coding are the Hour of Code and Scratch programming. Step 2: Get Others Involved Start a steering committee for your makerspace by involving interested teachers and students. If you can, reach out to the community and get parents and community members involved. 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. 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. The ALA 2012 Virtual Conference featured two well-attended makerspace sessions. Three Makerspace Models That Work By Travis Good 1. 2. 3. 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. Unfortunately, I see many educators hold back on starting a makerspace because of funds. I’m always hearing excuses like: “I’d love to do (insert cool Maker activity) at my school, but we don’t have a budget for that.” What many people don’t realize is that the idea that you need a lot of money to start a Makerspace is a myth. Share Your Vision with ALL THE PEOPLE You want to start a makerspace. Recycled materials can make for awesome projects Seek out Donations Never discount the value of donated materials.

Consider putting out a bin for donations of recycled materials. We first started our makerspace with bins of K’nex found in a storage room Work with What You’ve Got Since you’ve started sharing your vision, you might have found out that your school already has some maker supplies lying around. Our Epic LEGO Wall was funded through DonorsChoose Like this: