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Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey

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. 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. 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 This week we will receive our first purchases. Embarking on this journey has been, and continues to be, an incredible learning experience for all involved. See also: Related:  Makerspace

How to Build Your Makerspace | EdSurge Guides Learning by making has been around since long before edtech—just think about what the adventurous explorers or intrepid settlers of yore would have thought of "Do-It-Yourself." But with thousands of kid-friendly tech tools and a whole World Wide Web of resources out there, creative, interesting opportunities for learning-by-making abound for everyone. Okay, so with all those resources, where should you start to build a makerspace? Read on for ideas from the educators and entrepreneurs who think making 24/7, including what is involved with project-based learning and making in the classroom and tried-and-true lessons from the field on starting your makerspace. Making on a budget? How to Start a Makerspace What is Project-Based Learning, Anyway? Movers and Shakers, Teachers and Makers Accessible Makerspaces for Diverse Students If I Had a Hammer: Tools for Your Makerspace Looking to create a makerspace in your home or classroom? What supplies do you use in your makerspace?

Low Tech, High Gains: Starting a Maker Program Is Easier Than You Think A busy day at Darien (CT) Public Library’s LEGO Club. Has the maker movement taken hold in your library yet? Would you like it to? Take your pick: Anything from building with LEGOs to arts and crafts, gardening, cooking, astronomy, knitting, weaving, crochet, jewelry-making, sewing wood working, metal working, bike repair, button making, and even paper airplane construction can be offered in a maker space. These low-tech experiences are an ideal way for youth services librarians to get their feet wet in the maker arena—and usually with very little investment in supplies, overhead, and outside technical expertise compared with their high-tech counterparts. In fact, most youth services librarians already offer quite a bit of hands-on programming that could qualify as “maker” even if it is not being marketed as such, Kane says. Says Kane, “Library staff in any department have special skills and hobbies, even past careers, that the library may know nothing about. Where to start?

Create a school makerspace in 3 simple steps As maker education gains steam, many educators are looking for ways to incorporate making and tinkering into their schools and classrooms — often on a shoestring budget. “Kids are saying they want to learn more about technology and science, but they also want to experience it creatively and use it personally,” said Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Media, which produces Maker Faire and Make Magazine. He’ll address how educators can deliver these types of experimental learning experiences during ISTE 2014’s EdTekTalks, a provocative series of mini-keynotes from thought leaders beyond the world of ed tech. “One of the ways we can do that is create more makerspaces for kids. But what makes a makerspace? They promote learning through play and experimentation.They’re cross-disciplinary, with elements of art, science and craftsmanship.They offer tools and materials that encourage students to create rather than consume. Step 1: Secure some space. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Step 2: Put stuff in it.

What's STEM Got To Do With It? School Librarians as STEM Super Stars! Lots of schools across the country are either considering, experimenting with or diving right in to full fledged STEM initiatives; that is to say instructional programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Even if your school isn't going full STEM ahead, I imagine there's movement in your district and/or state towards encouraging student exploration of these subjects and fields. To me it's a natural fit. If STEM is about encouraging exploration, teaching kids to ask and find the answers to meaningful questions and using resources to change the world, librarians really ought to be leading that parade. Not only do we have the skills to carry that banner, but frankly this is a shared pedagogical philosophy. So... what are some ways that YOU can support either STEM initiatives or STEM thinking in your library? Well... Download an HQ copy HERE! As always, feel free to use and share or ignore the comic/infographic as you see fit.

Community Is Key to Successful Library Maker Spaces | The Digital Shift 2013 The most important resource for creating a successful library maker space—whether in a school or public library—is one’s own community, according to librarians Justin Hoenke, Amy Koester, and Michelle Cooper. Strong relationships and community involvement, not big budgets and high-tech gadgetry, are key to reaching children and teens, the trio of makers say. The experts shared details of their programming for kids and their top maker strategies during “The Community Joins In: Library Maker Spaces,” a midday session of The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries (#TDS13) webcast on October 16, moderated by Hoenke, the new teen librarian at the Chattanooga (TN) Public Library and 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. And since the event, the trio has created a Pinterest page filled with maker space advice, links, and takeaways. Kids learn to code at Chattanooga Public Library’s DevDev summer code camp, 2013. Cooper, school librarian at Henderson (TX) High School, also recommends this approach.

Makerspace Starter Kit The hot new Makerspace Movement is NOT new to Murray Hill Middle School. Eighteen years ago we designed and opened the school with the idea that we would have creation labs in the Media Center, GT room, and the TV studio. We started with video production, iMovie, Specular LogoMotion, Hyperstudio, and animation with Hollyood High kids. It's OK to Start Small! I re-purposed some of my empty study carrels for this Makerspace center at the top corner of our library. As I asserted in a recent blog post about new Ed Tech trends, fads, & tech -you can start small and You Don't Have to Marry It! For the Duct Tape Craft Cubby, I used a spring loaded curtain rod to hold the duct tape rolls, bought a bright blue colored shower caddy for the scissors and other tools. Amazon Delivers! I got all this on Amazon using my district P-Card & free shipping because I shared Prime with myself. Check out what I purchased full size - you may have to click twice to enlarge and scroll to view. FUND Me!

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! 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. Step 3: Purchasing Makerspace Resources Here are three guidelines: What purchases will give you the most bang for your buck? Step 4: Building a Community of Makers

Designing a School Makerspace Makerspaces, STEAM labs, and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. Cardboard construction Prototyping Woodworking Electronics Robotics Digital fabrication Building bicycles and kinetic machines Textiles and sewing Designing a space to accommodate such a wide range of activities is a challenging process. Some schools have chosen to incorporate makerspaces within multiple classroom spaces. Ask the Right Questions Because of the constantly evolving activities that a makerspace accommodates, a flexible design is critical from the outset. What range of subjects will be taught in the space? Which tools are most needed? Who are the kids that will be using the space?

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! 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. Step 3: Purchasing Makerspace Resources Here are three guidelines: What purchases will give you the most bang for your buck? Step 4: Building a Community of Makers Immerse your students in maker supplies. Photo Credit: Colleen Graves Step 5: Hosting Workshops and/or Design Challenges Here are some design challenge ideas that worked for me:

How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces If you could ask Ben Franklin what public institution he would like to visit in America today, I bet he would say the public library. And if you asked him which part of the library, I bet he would say the makerspace. Ben Franklin is well known as a founder of the early subscription library, the Philadelphia Library Company, almost 300 years ago. It may be less well known that Franklin used the library’s space for some of his early experiments with electricity. Today, perhaps taking a cue from Franklin, libraries across America are creating space for their patrons to experiment with all kinds of new technologies and tools to create and invent. As I wrote in a short piece in the March issue of The Atlantic, called The Library Card: Miguel Figueroa, who directs the Center for the Future of Libraries at the American Library Association, says makerspaces are part of libraries’ expanded mission to be places where people can not only consume knowledge, but create new knowledge.

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. Schools can learn from libraries that participated in the inaugural Maker Camps last summer. “Why are you here?” But not every space is alike, or even appropriate.

Looking to Create a Makerspace in your Library? Here are some ideas Makerspaces are popping up everywhere and the definition of makerspaces is constantly evolving like the spaces themselves. Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. The focus, actually, is on the type of learning that goes on, not the stuff. Making is about learning that is: interest-driven and hands-on and often supported by peer-to-peer learning. Why focus on maker programs and spaces in your library? If you are thinking about ways to bring in some maker programs into your library, begin with identifying what kind of learning activities your teens want/need the most. Here are some other resources and ideas to help get you started. YALSA’s 2014 Makerspace Resources Taskforce put together this awesome (and free) Making in the Library Toolkit YALSA’s wiki on Maker and DIY Programs has resources, funding opportunities, program ideas and more. Tech Activity Ideas

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