What are Makerspaces?

The turn of the 21st century has signaled a shift in what types of skillsets have real, applicable value in a rapidly advancing world. In this landscape, creativity, design and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations as tools such as 3D printers, robotics, and 3D modeling web-based applications become accessible to more people. The question of how to renovate or repurpose classrooms to address the needs of the future is being answered through the concept of Makerspaces, or workshops that offer tools and the learning experiences needed to help people carry out their ideas. Makerspaces are intended to appeal to people of all ages, and are founded an openness to experiment, iterate, and create. The driving force behind Maker spaces is rooted in the Maker movement, a following comprised of artists, tech enthusiasts, engineers, builders, tinkerers, and anyone else who has a passion for making things. The formation of the movement stems from the success of the Maker Faire, a gathering that launched in 2006, and has since propagated itself into numerous community-driven events all over the world.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Feb 6, 2015lisa K-12 teachers are all talking about the attributes of the 21st century learner. The students must create, communicate and collaborate. Makerspaces encourage all of these qualities in students. Project based learning is the buzz word in education today and integrates perfectly with the Makerspace concept. Students work must be relevant and by collaborating with each other on projects they are able to learn from each other and develop the skills they need to work in our Global Society.
http://www.nea.org/home/46989.htm- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015 - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 18, 2015
  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Feb 8, 2015I agree with the comments here. This is a great movement with lots of K to 12 potential. I work in the Library, so I am looking at some of the links here. Our school also has a 3D printer, so it could be a good connection.
  • Having separate spaces can be useful for housing the more expensive technologies like 3D printers etc but I would be more in favour of encouraging the concept of using the regular classroom for "making" . For example using materials for robotics etc we just pushed back the furniture. The key was how we stored and used the materials for easy access and use. Once the system was in place it worked like clockwork. Not all schools can afford a custom build. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
  • There seems to be a lot of material on making libraries into makerspaces, which I think is a really good idea. http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=45046
    - jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015- oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Feb 20, 2015- apowell apowell Feb 20, 2015
  • 3D Printing is my #1 choice and Makerspaces is my #2, just because it's our 3D printer that has provided such inspiration for our upcoming Makerspace! Hmm...maybe Makerspaces should have been #1. ;) We have a building picked out...300 square feet or more...it'll be ready to go by summer of 2015. After years of unsuccessfully trying explain how and why education needs to change, the Makerspace concept makes it tangible, concrete...easy to understand. It's what's been missing, it helps teachers/administrators finally GET IT re: revolutionizing teaching and learning. And once they've got it, everything else will fall into place: student- and project-centric learning, etc. Yes, even redesigning classrooms with tables and chairs versus the one-person desks suddenly makes sense to everybody. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 8, 2015
  • Great insights on this makerspace concept. These physical spaces are relevant to teaching and learning as they are self-directing learning spaces. The learners will take control of their own learning which will bring ownership to the quality of their projects.http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli7095.pdf - dsilva dsilva Feb 9, 2015
  • Media Arts has just been added to the Australian Curriculum as a mandatory requirement for all schools and students from pre-school to year 6 (with non-mandatory curriculum descriptions written through to year 10). http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/the-arts/media-arts/rationale Making through video, audio and multimedia production are wonderful ways to develop students' creativity and literacy. - dezuanni dezuanni Feb 13, 2015
  • 20 years ago, my high school guidance counselor told me I probably wouldn't get into my top college because I was taking a sewing class my senior year (I got in, btw). Today, many students might be told they wouldn't get into their top college because they AREN'T taking a sewing class! Making, creating, and inquiry/design thinking are important and relevant to K-12. It's a level playing field and a chance for students to explore new skills in a low-risk setting and be exposed to new technologies. I've incorporated a small makerspace in my classroom this year and the results have been incredibly positive. I've actually been able to teach a lot of literacy and math skills through the project students are working on. Relationships are stronger because conversation is always flowing, and I am able to tailor instruction based on the interests of my students. My classroom community has always been built on a foundation of creating/collaborating - our makerspace is just one way to make those abstract concepts physical. - cbsteighner cbsteighner Feb 14, 2015 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 20, 2015
  • Some of our schools are inspired to use or establish Makerspaces by the FABLAB program, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOPGJ2VBCPo - claus.gregersen claus.gregersen Feb 17, 2015
  • I would argue that while blended learning is currently the technology-based instructional strategy that is making the most impact, makerspaces are a natural progression and have the potential to be paradigm changing. There is something powerful in showing students that they can create. We are a nation of consumers; making not only counters this trend, but helps us become better consumers. Furthermore, there is no better way to learn than by doing and no better way to show mastery of a concept than by applying an abstract concept to a physical project. I encourage folks to pick up a copy of the Maker Space Manifesto to read more. - shorr shorr Feb 17, 2015 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 20, 2015 makerspaces are the project based learning implementation for a blended learning classroom. - alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Feb 23, 2015alex.podchaski
  • The Makerspaces not only brought back the reality of hands-on project-based learning, but integrated STEAM like David said. One aspect that is really important is that it brings in the community aspect - something that rarely happens in schools in Brazil. But the concept of Makerspaces is that it involve the community, giving the students an opportunity to reach out, and the school to open its doors. It is a real challenge fitting in this old/new paradigm into the traditional school day.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 18, 2015- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015
  • I believe it is important to make a point that even without luxurious makerpaces, the Maker Culture can and shoud be present in learning spaces. One of the most important aspects of Makers' mindset is the celebration of iteration and ingenuity and that is something that some schools have lost along the way. Makerspaces encourage remixing, repurposing, divergent thinking and the acceptance of failure as one of the paths toward sucess.- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015
  • C'mon, this has to be on the list! Folks at our school keep getting this confused with STEAM. Gotta do another PD session on STEAM, soon. This article pretty much sums it up, "Why the Maker Movement Is Important to [Your Country's] Future:"
    http://time.com/104210/maker-faire-maker-movement/ - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 15, 2015 - crompton crompton Feb 17, 2015- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 17, 2015 - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 18, 2015- adrian_lim adrian_lim Feb 22, 2015AGREE!!!!!! - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015
    There is a link between Libraries, Makerspaces and 21st Century Skills. Makerspaces are mentor-led environments, different concept from STEM/STEAM. Checkout this resource http://www.imls.gov/about/21st_century_skills_home.aspx - dsilva dsilva Feb 19, 2015- Holly.Lu Holly.Lu Feb 21, 2015
    - New Jersey Librarian Laura Fleming has done a lot on this topic http://worlds-of-learning.com [- mnagler mnagler Feb 21, 2015mnagler]
    Do they have to be mutually exclusive ?? - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
    Edutopia has a whole session on the Maker Movement and that can help many educators get started http://www.edutopia.org/topic/maker-education - giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015
    Its funny how a catchy name makes something as old as the ages vogue again. If that's what is needed all power to makerspaces. Many of the international schools always have included the creation of physical products as part of Design, whether this be in resistant materials, food or computer. Most Australian and English schools still have well developed Design Technology workshops that cater for so called 'makerspace'. The off shoot I think from makerspace may well be a rekindling of skills such as technical drawing by either computer (CAD) or hand drawn using tools such as set squares and t-squares. Having recently dabbled again in drawing of this kind, the intrinsic and extrinsic enjoyment of students was quite pleasing to observe.- mtaylor mtaylor Feb 22, 2015
    My biggest question on Makerspaces - while I love and support the topic - isn't this just project-based learning with a STEM focus?- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Feb 23, 2015alex.podchaski [Editor's Note: Added here from RQ3 discussions.]

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • - lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Feb 6, 2015lisa The addition of a Makerspace in K-12 schools not only is appealing, but is a great equalizer because gives all students the opportunity to interact with new technologies.
  • Sure seems like STEAM (STEM?) would get a mention here. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 8, 2015 Agreed. STEM is the natural bridge to the curriculum enabling Makerspaces to get started in many schools. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015
  • As most online research links Libraries with Makerspaces, how and where will information literacy fit in here? - dsilva dsilva Feb 9, 2015
  • The notion of the Maker Space often focusses on design/tech/craft work, but making through video, audio and multimedia production is incredibly important and relevant to the concept. Many of the pedagogic processes, the attitude to project based learning and the focus on creativity are well established processes in many media classrooms, which I believe should be considered maker spaces. - dezuanni dezuanni Feb 13, 2015
  • Makerspaces in public education. Independent schools seem to have the upper hand here. Why is this? (Other than funding...) - cbsteighner cbsteighner Feb 14, 2015
  • I think one of they key concepts of the movement can be distilled down to "Create more than you consume" - shorr shorr Feb 17, 2015
  • the larger concept of creating and innovating - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 18, 2015 i agree with Kari. - keith.krueger keith.krueger Feb 21, 2015
  • The community outreach aspect. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 18, 2015 - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 20, 2015
  • The teacher training here is key. Makerspaces really do cause a lot of teachers and administrators moments of uncomfort to envision. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 22, 2015
  • The space is what you make it, the philosophy behind creating, innovating, and experimentation with the option to fail and try again is the most important part of a makerspace. It is more than the physical redesign of space or repurposing of space. Every classroom can be a makerspace, and Kindergarten classrooms are a perfect example.- alex.podchaski alex.podchaski Feb 23, 2015alex.podchaski

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Feb 8, 2015It fits into IBO PYP and MYP inquiry. It is really what MIT professor Seymour Papert called "constructionism". Papert was a student of Jean Piaget who began the constructivism theory that underpins PYP and MYP. Scratch (free coding for kids) by Mitch Resnick at MIT is also constructionism in a digital format, as is Minecraft. Totally agree, as what we make becomes "our objects to think with" (Seymour Papert) - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015
  • I agree the link with the IBO programmes, specially the MYP Personal Project where learners become true inquiry learners by creating their own project and process journals. Makerspaces can make this project a great teaching and learning experience by allowing the learners to become self-directer, inquirers and creative thinkers. - dsilva dsilva Feb 9, 2015
  • See my response to #1. The Makerspace phenomenon has the potential for finally making what we've been calling "21st century teaching/learning" a reality. It's that important. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 8, 2015 Exactly!- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 18, 2015
  • Makerspaces scream learning and creativity. Imagine replacing our current classroom with makerspaces.- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

http://makezine.com/2013/08/11/key-qualities-for-a-school-makerspace/- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015
Mason elementary School.
http://elemlibguides.leanderisd.org/mason/makerspace- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015
Makerspaces in schools.
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/creating-makerspaces-in-schools-mary-beth-hertz- jmorrison jmorrison Feb 6, 2015
  • Our school is adding a space/designing an area completely devoted to Makerspace. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 7, 2015
  • My office is currently the prototype and we're looking for other locations to use while our big Makerspace is being prepared. Our Robotics program is being expanded in anticipation of this. We're examining classes such as Electronics, Engineering, etc., for next year. We'll share the space with Art classes...might have Pottery classes...we may even restart our long-neglected Woodworking class. - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Feb 8, 2015
  • - kevin-johnson kevin-johnson Feb 8, 2015Scratch (as stated above) is a type of this constructionism approach, but one that teaches coding, and is all online, well supported, long-standing and continuing to evolve http://scratch.mit.edu/http://scratch.mit.edu/. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015 I worked with a teacher who successfully used Scratch to design games for the younger children in their school to learn about the geometric properties of shapes Minecraft edu is also a great digital application http://services.minecraftedu.com/wiki/Teaching_with_MinecraftEduhttp://services.minecraftedu.com/wiki/Teaching_with_MinecraftEdu. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 22, 2015 I am currently working with a teacher who has a group of children reconstructing the schools on their campus and the local area using Minecraft.
  • Every tech conference seems to have these - check out ISTE and SXSWedu - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 18, 2015
  • I am also spearheading the Makerspace movement at my school here in Brazil. We have some FabLabs already in place outside the school, but ours was the first to be built inside the school. We started with one room, but as of next year (2016), it will expand to cover all labs in the High School - all kids will have 200 minutes of makerspace time in the curriculum in 10th - 12th grades. The school is really betting on this movement keeping us on the leading edge of education as we are now. Other schools also began to create makerspaces in their schools (I know of one more in São Paulo).- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Feb 18, 2015
  • I have been working closely with the Maker Movement in language teaching and have promoted a few workshops where teachers are invited to Hack Education through Making. The Imagination Foundation has done a great job promoting the Global Cardboard Challenge, which mixes creative play and Making and last year our schools took part in the challenge and we are already getting ready for this year's challenge- giselle.santos giselle.santos Feb 22, 2015
Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.
http://lineshapespace.com/technology-will-save-us-gets-kids-to-build-electronics/ - adrian_lim adrian_lim Feb 22, 2015