Adding a makerspace to your school, office, or hackerspace can have many benefits. Makerspaces provide a place where people of all ages can work together collaboratively, helping each other learn and achieve their goals.
If this is your first time setting up a makerspace, you may have some questions about what tools and equipment you will need. How you set up your makerspace will have a direct impact on the way that people who come to it work and learn, so it’s important to put some consideration into what tools and equipment you add to your space.
By identifying your goals and needs beforehand, you can successfully create a makerspace that people benefit from and enjoy.
In the past few years, makerspaces have become much more common in educational settings. No longer just a part of hackerspaces and fablabs, makerspaces can now be found in a variety of learning environments, from classrooms in preschools to STEM labs in elementary schools and art studios on college campuses.
A growing number of educators and school administrators are beginning to realize that makerspaces can make a huge impact on student learning and school culture. As a result, many schools have added makerspaces to their library. This kind of mentality is in itself revolutionary, since school libraries are traditionally thought of as being quiet, tidy spaces for individual learning. However, more and more, research is showing that students learn best when they can work in a collaborative environment and participate in hands-on activities.
Technology is an important part of our world. With an increasing number of jobs developing in the tech industry, it’s important that schools prepare students by teaching them how to use technology in class. And teachers have seen incredible results from using technology to teach important STEM concepts, including an increasing in student engagement and performance.
But where does that leave literacy and the arts? Are students missing out on fundamental skills as they’re swept away in the tech world? This is the concern of many educators and parents.
However, some teachers have found a new method for bringing the arts and literacy into classroom projects. By using makerspaces as a hub for hands on activities and group assignments, teachers have found that they can easily incorporate writing, and literacy into STEM lessons by immersing students in the imaginative process of storytelling.
In recent years, STEM and STEAM curriculum has risen in popularity due to an increased need to prepare students for positions in the industries of technology, medicine, and engineering. STEM programs stress concepts related to science, technology, math, and engineering while STEAM programs add the arts into the mix.
Whether your school uses STEM or STEAM curriculum, the goal is generally the same – to integrate concepts from multiple subjects into one activity or learning experience. This means that schools need equipment and space that accommodates hands-on projects. That’s why many schools are starting to add makerspaces to classrooms and libraries so students can more readily engage in these types of projects and effectively grasp concepts that are part of STEM and STEAM curriculum.
Now, more than ever, educators realize that their students need to be kept engaged and involved in order to learn effectively. Having hands-on experiences helps students gain a better grasp of new concepts and retain information. That’s why so many teachers are strong advocates of having collaborative spaces in schools where students can work hands-on with one another to apply the concepts they’ve learned. And a considerable number are turning to makerspaces as a solution.