How to transform your media centers into makerspaces

Even with tight budgets, it’s possible to repurpose your libraries or media centers into 21st century makerspaces

For many of us in education, budget cuts are always a possibility. The challenge becomes how to make our services and programs truly stand out to stakeholders, so that we’re truly transforming what we’re doing to meet the needs of our students in today’s world. With that in mind, we recently re-introduced our media centers to our district community, Brevard County Schools in Florida, as a valuable and integral part of a student’s education that supports 21st-century skills

Our “a-ha” moment about how to make this rebrand a reality came at a tech conference. With a colleague, the two of us stopped at a 3D printer booth and we both had the same vision. We talked about repurposing the media centers into Innovation Centers where students had the opportunity to experience STEM activities through a maker format. We were excited about the chance to give our students the opportunity to truly envision, design, create, and walk away with a 3D printed model.

We approached the Brevard Schools Foundation and shared our vision. At the Foundation’s recommendation, we applied for and won a grant from Northrop Grumman. In developing a timeline and plan for implementing the grant, we identified six schools where the changes would start and made sure that they were willing and able to support this new program. One of our goals was to make the program replicable and sustainable. This was our chance to create a model that could be rolled out to other schools in the future.…Read More