What Is Are Makerspaces?

Scribble Bots in Middle School
Scribble Bots in Middle School

Makerspaces can be found in community centers, schools, libraries, museums and more. They are spaces where people of all ages use the tools provided to tinker, build and craft their ideas. It fosters their inner inventor to think, explore, design and build prototypes, bring their concepts to life, and to collaborate and share ideas with other makers and hackers.

Makerspaces are part of the sharing economy. Equipment and supplies can include traditional wood-working tools, sewing machines, and computer labs with anything from CAD to stop motion animation software. The spaces provide tools and equipment that are financially out of reach for most makers to have in their own homes, for example, laser cutters and CNC machines. Making it possible for those creative thinkers to bring their visions to life.

How Do I Build A Makerspace At My School Or Library?

It doesn’t matter how you begin. Just begin. School district leaders, a single teacher or even a visionary student can champion the space.

You can start small. Host a science center birthday party with science party games, complete with lab coats and a science party cake. Or you could envision something ongoing and set up a dedicated space – think of the space as being similar to a wood shop – back when schools used to have wood shops. Or it could just be in a corner of a library or classroom. Often, Makerspaces are somewhere in between. Teachers might have access to a room, like they do in a computer room now, where they sign up in advance or by scheduling dedicated time. Or they can be part of an afterschool or electives program in the middle of school.

Makerspaces provide a space for students to pop on a scientist’s lab coat, develop projects on their own, and store them safely.  Supplies for educational products, like disposable lab coats, can be purchased using grants for education. Don’t be afraid to start. See below for some classroom maker project ideas and visit the resource page for more.

Makerspace Design Services

Makerspace Lab doesn’t stop there. We make it easy for you to order everything you need, including scientist lab coats for adults and children. From lesson plans to school supplies and technology, Makerspace Lab makes filling your science room simple. If you would like help building your Makerspace, contact us for a free consultation. We can provide assistance by walking you through the process. We are also available for on location design services and help with planning and purchasing supplies. Interested in finding out more?  Get in touch with us today.

Classroom Organization Bins
Classroom Organization Bins
Middle School Classroom Makerspaces
Middle School Classroom Makerspaces

 


Classroom Maker Projects

Exploratorium Projects

A complete set of instructions can be found at the Exploratorium for each of the tinkering projects listed below.
  • Cardboard Auomata Activity
  • Chain Reaction Activity
  • Circuit Boards Activity
  • Light Painting Activity
  • Light Play Activity
  • Marble Machines Activity
  • Musical Bench Activity
  • Paper Circuits Activity
  • Plastic Fusing Activity
  • Scribbling Machines Activity
  • Sewn Circuits Activity
  • Squishy Circuits Activity
  • Toy Take Apart Activity
  • Wind Tubes Activity
  • Makey Makey Activity

My video of some of the projects my niece and I did in the Exploratorium  Tinkering Studio, Tinkering Coursera class, here.