My first assumption of what a makerspace is, was mostly incorrect. I thought it was just an online forum where people came together to try to market some new gadget or idea they came up with. I was excited to learn the real meaning, which can include low or high-tech items and use any physical space available, when set up in a logical (useful) way.
An article posted by educause.edu (April, 2013) states that “a makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build.” The location for this meeting can be anywhere from a school classroom to a local library but creativity and inventiveness drives the activities completed in Makerspaces.
Once I had a firm grasp on what exactly a Makerspace was, I flipped right over to some straightforward plans on how to start a Makerspace in my classroom. Jennifer Cooper, a Makerspace designer and avid blogger at edtopia.org (September, 2013), has many amazing ideas for getting areas set up for tinkering and topics in which the Makerspace could be utilized if one was wanting a more structured approach. J. Cooper mentions woodworking, robotics, electronics and digital fabrication as just a few high-tech options in which to provide a “space” for students to gather and create.
Another article I found at ISTE.org by Nicole Krueger (June, 2014) also provides just 3 easy steps to getting started on a Makerspace.
N. Krueger shares those simple steps:Step 1:Secure some space.
In order to have a successful Makerspace, you will need to start with finding a space that has room for what you want to accomplish in the room. The room does not need to be a large space but enough that it can house the supplies needed and the ability for students to move around.
Step 2: Put stuff in it.
Ideas and supplies for a Makerspace would be endless as there are thousands of toilet paper rolls and buttons thrown out often. Like mentioned above, the supplies do not have to be expensive if that is not in your budget.
Step 3: Invite kids to play.
Having just empty space IS a waste of space. Invite the kids into the space and create whatever comes into their brains. These are pretty easy steps to follow if there is hesitation in creating a Makerspace.
While searching for the meaning of a Makerspace, I stumbled on to this site-http://renovatedlearning.com/makerspace-resources/ by Diana L. Rendina. There is a vast supply of resources such as how-to videos, TED talks, blogs to follow with more amazing resources, and a good description of the Maker Movement. Also, the Lewis and Clark Elementary School of Liberty, Missouri (https://lc-lps-ca.schoolloop.com/MakerSpace) has great resources of what activities/apps they have presented in their school and another long list of resources to look into for your own use. Happy surfing!
Cooper, J. (September, 2013)Designing a School Makerspace Blog posting retrieved from Edutopia:What works in Education (2016) George Lucas Educational Foundation
Krueger, N. (June, 2014) Create a School Makerspace in 3 Easy Steps. Retreived from http://www.iste.org on June 7, 2016.
No Author(s).educause.edu/ELI.(April, 2013). 7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces. Retrieved from https://net.edcause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7095.pdf on June 7, 2016.
Rendina, D. L. (nd) Renovated Learning:Building a Culture of Creativity and Discovery in Education. Retreived from http://renovatedlearning.com/makerspace-resources/ on June 7, 2016.