5 steps for creating a custom makerspace

Start your makerspace on the right foot with these steps

makerspace-customA couple of years ago, my son won an award in preschool for being “Eager to Learn.” I remember having such mixed emotions on the day he won the award. Of course I was beyond proud of him, but I also could not help but wonder if his schooling would allow him to carry and sustain that innate zeal for learning with him as he came to face the rigors of the Common Core and standardized testing.

It was about this time that I began my job as media specialist at New Milford High School, and my own worries about my son, combined with New Milford’s desire to reinvigorate their school library, made me more passionate than ever about forging schools that work for kids.

I believe that every child has the right to invent, tinker, create, innovate, make, and do. The maker movement has created opportunities for all educators to give students authentic learning opportunities that go beyond the typical classroom experiences and to rethink traditional learning environments to include those that nurture the kinds of creativity and innovation that will benefit our students both in school and beyond. We know children learn by exploring and playing and doing and making and that these kinds of things lead to deeper engagement. The maker movement embodies opportunities for experimentation and innovation to occur across all grade levels and all content areas.

Physical makerspaces have allowed us the opportunity to pull some of this excitement of the maker movement into our schools. Makerspaces can help set the stage for meaningful student learning, as well as help cultivate a culture of innovation within a school. My makerspace inspires innovation, passion, and personal motivation and interests, and has encouraged students to pursue STEM subjects and careers.

Next page: The 5 steps revealed

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