Making a Mark with Makerspaces

One Maker Shares His Story! 

Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Get tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration from Chad - a real life maker! Hosted by Nancy Lindfors, Learners Edge Manager of Evaluation and Degree Programs, we’ll discuss how to get started creating a Makerspace, who to add to your team, and how to make your space sustainable.

Watch the webinar and learn more about how to start making at your school!

Making a Mark with Makerspaces: One Maker Shares His Success Story

Below are the presentation slides and additional items from the webinar. We hope these will help you in creating or continuing your Makerspace journey!

Questions and Answers from the Webinar:

Questions and Answers from Makerspaces WebinarWe received an abundance of amazing questions during the webinar. We wanted to make sure we addressed all the applicable questions and shared them with you. 

Q: Your Makerspace is shared between many teachers. Do you share materials and who keeps it stocked?

A:  Yes, our Makerspace cart is portable and most of the materials are reusable. However, we have a rotating weekly schedule of teachers that check the cart and if any items need restocking, we work with a designated person to order replacement materials. Also, it's a great learning lesson for the students to put the materials back where they found them. 

Q: How did you incorporate student input into the design of the Makerspace cart?

A: Teachers presented ideas discovered through research and learnings from other schools. We created a survey for the students and purchased additional materials based on student interest.

Q: Grant funding can be daunting, can you share some tips from the grants you applied for and received or didn't receive? 

A: Donors Choose (https://www.donorschoose.org/) is a great place to start. Local education foundations can also be a great resource. One of the best lessons I learned was to work very hard at tying grant requests, as closely as possible, to the grant funding organization - this will certainly improve your success rate.   

Q: Can you provide some ideas for designing your Makerspace?

A:  Mobile carts work great if there is no permanent location available. There is a trend to converting part of library space into a Makerspace. Also, it can be fun to have a permanent fixture in the Makerspace along with rotating features. For example, perhaps you always have Legos, but you could rotate in and out other supplies. 

When you are considering your Makerspace, always consider safety. Also, consider the availability of wi-fi, outlets, shelving, whiteboards, SMART boards depending on what you are including in your Makerspace. 

Q: Is all your making free-choice or do you ever give a class a maker/engineering challenge?

A:  Our Maker Movement was a bit of a gradual shift to greater student choice. In the beginning of the school year, I gave them a goal. As we progressed, we created goals together. Finally, towards the end of the year, students create their own goals. Always make sure to make clear to the students the why - "why are we doing this!"  This gradual shift allowed for students to build competence and confidence. 

Q: How are you teaching coding?

A:  We use Osmo Kits and Osmo Apps (https://www.playosmo.com). We also use Sphero Balls (http://www.sphero.com/)

Q: Share with us the greatest resource you use for staying current in the Makerspace movement?

A:  Twitter - #makered #makerspace #makerspaces 


Looking for More?

Questions and Answers from Makerspaces WebinarIf this topic has sparked an interest in you, or you simply want to learn more about the Maker Movement, STEM, Inquiry Based Science, let us suggest a few resources and courses that may be of interest:

Course 5080: Making the Shift to STEM Education: Are you looking for ways to create a more relevant and student-centered classroom? Are you looking for ways to better prepare students to fill the growing number of STEM careers? Then shift your thinking and get ready to embrace K-12 STEM education! In this course you will learn why STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) matters and will develop a plan to get started. All education professionals, including teachers, school leaders, and curriculum directors--will learn how to be STEM change agents.  You’ll learn from those who have moved through the shift at the classroom, school and district level. 3 graduate credits 

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