Our school makerspace, B.O.S.S. HQ (Building of Super Stuff Headquarters), is slowly establishing itself. To aid in its development I’ve devoured every piece of advice that I can find: blogs, professional development sessions, Twitter chats, and books. At the beginning of this journey I read Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager. From that book, I learned the power of T.M.I. (Think, Make, Improve), and all of my students and Maker Club members are well-versed in those three steps.
Another well-known pioneer in Maker Education is Laura Fleming (@NMHS_lms), a Library Media Specialist in New Jersey, who has documented the transformation of her library makerspace on her blog. Laura recently published a book, Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establing a Makerspace for Your School. The book gives practical advice on getting started on this adventure (or improving it if you have already begun).
Every school is different, and that means, of course, that makerspaces will vary as well. It might not be the best idea to put your makerspace in the library. Maybe an empty room or nook would be better. Or perhaps you would prefer to have “pop-up” makerspaces or mobile carts. No matter the layout of your space, Worlds of Making will give you many ideas.
Here are a few things that I learned from Laura’s book that I hope to put into practice: include “fixed” and “flexible” stations in your space, invite experts to your space (such as Ron Grosinger, who ran a bicycle repair workshop for her students), and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for students to showcase their work. (I have been working on this last one, and her book gave me some new ideas.)
My favorite quote from the book?
If you are interested in joining the Maker Movement, then I highly recommend that you read Worlds of Making. Just like the creativity and collaboration for which it advocates, it should be an essential element of any library.
For more Makerspace Essentials, check out my series and other resources here.