The makerspace movement
MakerSpaces are gaining in popularity, and for good reason. A MakerSpace is an area within a school where students are free to invent, create, and work on projects of their own choosing. The space typically includes new technologies such as 3D printers, electronics, and robotics, as well as traditional building materials, such as wood, metal, and soldering irons. It can also include sewing materials, film equipment, paper, ping-pong balls, play-doh, a green screen, art supplies, and recycled goods--just about anything that can be used to make something. Typically a library schedule is utilized, where students can come to the space during free time, or teachers can reserve the space for their class. Within a MakerSpace, students come up with solutions to problems that matter to them. They write project proposals, experiment, invent, reiterate, and experience successes and failures, much like creators in the real world, while learning critical thinking and problem solving skills. MakerSpaces are often associated with STEM curriculum, but work best when they are utilized by all disciplines, as creativity and innovation are not isolated to any particular subject.
Why do students need a MakerSpace?
See a local MakerSpace in action:
Great! Are we getting one?
Well...not yet. A true MakerSpace would require a physical space and lots of equipment, not to mention someone to manage everything. Although this is not a possibility this year, we can begin the process of working toward a MakerSpace and reap some of the benefits through a MakerCart.