Starting a School Makerspace from Scratch

A school makerspace can be started with community support, generating excitement among students, locating low-cost or no-cost supplies, and incorporating maker activities into the curriculum.

Following the workshop, you might feel ready to start a maker space at your school.

National Week of Making is over. But you don’t know where to begin. Is it worth spending the money on a 3D printer or the latest robotics kit to ensure success in learning and making? How can you start a successful maker space?

Step 1: Get involved in Maker Education

You must join a maker space before you can start your maker community. Join a summer maker space like Exploratorium’s Tinkering Fundamentals, or the virtual Camp Google. This will allow you to learn coding and other skills, and it is free! Visit a public library or community maker space to learn Arduino and another programming. Scratch programming and Hour Code are two easy ways to get into coding. You can create low-tech STEM crafts with your families, such as this balloon-propelled vehicle and this hovercraft.

Step 2: Get others involved

Form a steering group for your maker space with the help of students and teachers. Goal-setting, purchasing decisions, workshop ideas, and even programming makerspaces can all be aided by your committee. You can learn about the work of students and schools via Skype or Google Hangouts.

If possible, go out to the community and include parents and other members of the community. Mentoring experts can also be a fun approach to get students involved. Look for student mentors in your school or neighborhood. You may use social media to broaden your reach.

Skype in Classroom or Twitter. Our students enjoy connecting with other makers across the country and making connections with experts such as the creators of Makey Makey.

Step 3: Purchase Makerspace Resources

These are the guidelines:

  1. Which purchases will get you the best bang for your buck Is it possible to spend too much on a 3D printer?
  2. Ask your PTA to fund you, write grants or use crowdsourcing funding like Donors Choice and GoFundMe. Sign up to receive monthly emails from Mackin about grant opportunities
  3. Ask for used electronics, popsicle sticks, and balloons, as well as wire cutters, wire cutters, old telephone wires, tennis balls, and other electronic items. There are many great STEM lessons available at the Google Maker Camps. You can follow STEM accounts on Instagram and browse Pinterest for great ideas.

Step 4: Establishing a Maker Community

Make sure your pupils know how to use maker tools. Tinkering instruments can stimulate youngsters to create in the same way that books motivate them to read. You don’t need a designated area for your maker space. All you need are some maker materials, a location to keep your goods, and a basic understanding of how to utilize them.

After I moved the maker space items from their backroom to a location behind our circulation desk, our students began to tinker every day.

Step 5: Host Design Challenges or Workshops

Before you start a maker space, it’s critical to acquire a sense of the pulse of your community. On my circulation desk, there is a “wanna” box. A student’s proposal sparked the first Lamar design challenge. We chose to challenge Diana Rendina’s class in Florida to a Catapult Challenge since the student wanted to create catapults. They then challenged us to use Scratch to design games and controllers.

Makey Makey.

For students, Snap Circuits and littleBits are popular tools. While kids can tinker and have a good time, it’s up to you to help them learn by giving them creative tasks.

Problem-solving and creativity can be taught through design challenges. “Design problems are very vital,” says Jay Silver, co-inventor of Makey Makey. … It has a time limit, a subject, and concludes with a show-and-tell. A mini-maker fair is a great opportunity to show off student work. It allows students to communicate with one another via Skype or Twitter chats.

These are the most difficult design problems I’ve encountered.

Organizing a

Step 6: Incorporating Maker Education into the Curriculum

Although tinkering is a great way to learn, makerspace programming can be used to support classroom curriculum. These are some ways to incorporate making into the classroom.

What goals would you like to see for your school’s maker space? Are there any maker space lessons that you have used in your classrooms?