Creating a Makerspace Area

What is Makerspace?

Makerspaces are physical spaces that are used to create and learn through practical, hands on experiences. They are a mindset of collaboration and creation. A learning environment rich with possibilities where students and teachers come together and learn new skills and are not fixed by a set of materials and spaces.

Makerspaces encourage experimentation, exploration and the sharing of tools, materials, information, systems and expertise. Students can experiment with video production using a Green Screen, Lazer Cutter, 3D Printing, Coding and Robotics alongside learning how to create, invent, and learn. In a school they often have hardware devices, software, electronics, digital gadgets, craft and tools, and more.

Makerspaces provide creative time and space for teachers and students to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, bounce ideas off one another and build something together. The spaces will not always include digital technologies, since some prototypes and designs can be built out of anything or may include various stages of design that move from traditional to contemporary and emerging technologies.

Makerspaces promote design and system thinking.

Why Makerspace?

Makerspace programs are a response to the new WA Technologies Curriculum, as well as movements seeking to empower students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) as interrelated learning areas.

In the WA Curriculum Technologies subjects teachers will provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate the learning goals.

  • Knowledge and understanding in digital systems and the representations of data.
  • Processes and production skills in collecting managing and analysing data and in digital implementation.
  • Knowledge and understanding in technology and society and learning in the technologies contexts: engineering principles and systems, and materials and technologies.
  • Processes and production skills by creating sustainable solutions to meet needs and opportunities by investigating and defining, designing, producing and implementing and evaluating and collaborating and managing.

Teachers have an Opportunity to Demonstrate the Following Professional Standards at one of the Career Stages of 2.6, 3.4 and 4.5.

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How are These Kinds of Spaces being Brought into Schools?

The big question is how do we bring these kinds of physical spaces into schools so that every teacher and student has access to a safe, creative space for exploration?

There are a number of different kinds of attempts being made at various schools. Some are creating ad hoc spaces by transforming existing spaces in classrooms, the library or into lunch time or after-school makerspace clubs.

Other schools are integrating aspects of design thinking and playfulness into the curriculum, providing time during the day or during a unit for this kind of free exploration.

What are Some Important Considerations?

Storage bins, units and lockable lockers for:
  • Recycled material
  • Electronic components
  • Digital gadgets
Open areas for:
  • Constructing tracks
  • Testing inventions and solutions
Dedicated areas for:
  • Green screen recording
  • 3D Printer and Lazer cutters
Work tables (long, short or curved), cubicles or couches for:
  • Laptops
  • Digital gadgets and software and hardware equipment
  • Collaborate work
Access to Electricity for:
  • Digital devices, laptops, iPads or Androids

Thinkspace areas for:

  • Collaboration and design thinking

How Much will it Cost?

Find a Budget that Works for you!


  • Enlisting volunteers as helpers
  • Partnering with community organisations
  • Using existing school resources
  • Re-branding existing programs
  • Seeking sponsorship
  • Allocating school funds in next year's budget.

Possible Digital Gadgets to Include:


Osmo -

Ollie -

Lego Mindstorm EV3 -

Edison Robots -

Sphero 2.0 and SPRK -

The following is a set of ideas, activities and recommendations for starting a makerspace in your school:


PP – Year 1

Easy to operate - forward, back, left and right

Stops, beeps and blinks after each moveRemembers up to 40 commands - encourages sophisticated plans and programs. A great introductory tool for teaching sequencing, estimation and problem solving.


Year 1 - 2

App and web-based tool

Classroom account with set tasks

Encourage 20 minutes a week

Wearable Tech

Year 1, 2 and 3
Learn to create simple electronic circuits and integrate them into wearable tech such as badges, wristbands, hats and clothes, and to ‘techify’ craft projects such as models, signs and conceptual machines.
Years 4, 5 and 6
Move on to integrate a ‘LilyPad Arduino (miniature microprocessor) and programme your wearables inventions to become multimodal, intelligent and sensory. See “invent to learn guide to fun classroom technology projects” for tried and tested classroom projects idea’s and instructions.

Makey Makey
Year 1, 2 and 3
Learn about conductive and non-conductive materials. Use various material with Makey Makey – which materials work? which don’t ? why ? Categorise materials, produce properties tables, research new words. Learn how electronic circuits are used to control computers. Use the Makey Makey connected to IWB as an alternative to keyboard and mouse, to control computer programmes such as a Pacman game and a musical keyboard. Research, Plan, Make musical instruments and game controllers using craft materials. Produce diaries of projects and videos of the results.
Years 4, 5 and 6
Learn to programme Makey Makey using Scratch and/or Arduino Software’s, to enable kids to make more complex projects and use a wider range of programming languages and techniques.

Scratch Jr (PP – Year 3)

Easy to use app (Apple and Android)

Students can program interactive stories and games

Learn problem-solving, design projects and work creatively

Scratch (Year 5 -6 )

Create a classroom

Drop and drag

Encourages collaborative working

Hummingbird Duo
Years 3, 4, 5 and 6
Develop programming skills using Scratch or Snap or Arduino software environments, and create and control intelligent models with effects including sound, light, motion, and an array of sensors. Work in small groups 2-4 per controller.

Years 4, 5 and 6
Learn to control a wide array of electronic parts including sound, vision and movement, through using littleBits and making models from following the littleBits’ instructional guides. Work in small groups 2-4 per kit. Research new words, such as ‘inverter’ or ‘analog’ etc. - plan creative projects including creating a parts list, circuit diagrams and construction plans. Make Projects! Write up results / findings / lessons learned / improvements to be made next time. Produce video diaries, animations, blogs, photo’s throughout the projects.

Lightbot Jr

Year 4 - 8

Apple and Android App

Introduces complex principles of programming in a fun environment

littleBits Story Telling – Collaborative task with littleBits. Bigger groups work together to create a theatre/puppet show and use their model to complete the production. Demonstrate to school ‘live’ during assembly, and the World… through producing and publishing a video of your productions.

littleBits Programming
Use littleBits Arduino Bits to build programming into the mix and build on skills learned using Scratch and Makey Makey.

RoboTron Robot Construction Kit
Years 3 and 4
Use the Mechanics Kit to follow instructions to build simple mechanical models, learning about construction, wheels, cogs, axles etc.
Years 4 and 5
Use the Smart kit to follow instructions to build intelligent and / or remote controlled machines, such as remote control or sensory buggies. Learn simple programming techniques for models and changing their controls
Years 5 and 6
Use the Creative Kit to build and programme more complex mechanical machines.
These kits parts are also largely interoperable with littleBits, hence can be used to provide mechanical accessories to aid littleBit model making.

Micro Bits
Years 1-10

You'll know how to create circuits and design computer programmes. What it looks like!

Purchasing of Micro:Bit kits

Go to the BBC micro:bit Go with its online simulator

Lots of easy to follow lesson ideas suitable for Primary and secondary students

Grok Learning Lessons

micro:bit on the App Store - iTunes - Apple

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Possible Material to Include:

You won’t need to spend a lot of money, just things you have at home or school. Here are some examples:

• Cereal boxes

• Coloured paper/card

• Cardboard rolls

• Pipe cleaners

• Twisty ties

• Tape

• Scissors

• Felt pens

• Glitter

• Plastic containers (yogurt, fruit cups, small butter, etc.)

• Plastic & metal lids

• Pompoms

• Dowel rods/wooden skewers

• Popsicle sticks/paint sticks

• Florist wire/wire gauge

• Rubber bands

• Fabric scraps/buttons/spools

• Nails/screws/nuts/washers (variety of sizes)

• Cardboard pieces

• Styrofoam

• Tin cans/metal containers (mint, band-aid, etc.)

• Metal and plastic bottle caps

• Corks/clothespins

• Scrap wood

• Metal hardware (hinges, pulls, keys, eye hooks, fasteners

• Old paintbrushes

• Dominos/golf tees

• Metal rings/clips/brass fasteners

• Sandpaper

• Craft materials- pipe cleaners, pompoms, foam stickers, feathers, googly eyes

• Stencils

• Springs/plastic toy parts

• Balloons

• Playing cards.

Anything small, old, metal, or interesting to make cool and unique projects.

Establish Clubs or Groups within the School!

Here are some Clubs or Groups you might like to start in your school and even meet in your Digital Learning Hub- the Makerspace and Thinkerspace Centre:

Code Club:

Students will enjoy “Unplugged’ Activities” as well as learning how to program using a variety of apps and software. It strengthens computational thinking, problem-solving, planning, designing and collaboration as well as having plenty of creative fun!

Computer Science Club

Free and available online -

Targeted at ages 9 - 14

Use unplugged resources like those at

Robotics Club:

students will enjoy the enthusiasm of a member of staff who creates and ‘plays’ in the world of robots! Set-up a Robotics Club and involve the students in designing and creating machines which move. The students can program, operate and control their robotics with software.

Earth Angels Group:

Set-up an “Earth Angels” group for students interested in making their school environmentally a better place through the development of sustainable practices such as maintaining a school vegetable patch, worm farms and composting systems, undertaking waste audits and managing a re-usable tuckshop bag system to reduce paper bag use. The Earth Angels can use library resources to plan a crop planting calendar, find recipes to use with crops grown, work out sustainable crafts and learn more about worm farms and composting systems.

Crafting Group:

Students will enjoy working on craft projects in textiles, glass, ceramics, jewellery, wood, paper, leather and the art of photography, which empowers students of all ages to take ideas from within themselves and give those ideas artistic form.


Start with what you have and what you know.

Start with ‘guided’ making then invite students to begin their own ‘making’.

Remember too ... not only use- #hightech but #lowtech

Not all learning opportunities in a makerspace environment need to be high tech. In fact, some of the very best of learning experiences in a makerspace environment are created with e.g. cardboard construction!

Free Coding Programs

To mention a few:

Resource Sites

Makerspaces in Perth, West Australia

The Artifactory

This was Perth’s first “hackerspace.” It’s got a very industrial flavour to it and blends design, technology, the arts, and broad-spectrum tinkering.

Enkel Labs

Enkel is a collective of innovators. Their focus is centrally on exploration of new possibilities, and they span some pretty broad ideas. The Victoria Park space is a 12 month project, with negotiations under way for a permanent space in Fremantle.

Computational thinking kits for really young kids:

Makerspace STEM Workshop

Thursday, Oct. 13th, 8:30am-3:30pm

33 Williamstown Road

Woodlands, WA

Learn how to set up an engaging "makerspace" in your school or classroom that fosters creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and technical skills. We will consider how electronics, coding and robotics activities can be integrated to support delivery of the Digital Technologies Curriculum.

Book the Professional Development "Digital Learning, Makerspace STEM Workshop"

on the CEWA PD Portal

Robotics in the Digital Technologies Curriculum and beyond Workshop

Monday, Oct. 24th, 8:30am-3:30pm

33 Williamstown Road

Woodlands, WA

Learn how the use of programmable robots and associated software can support delivery of the Digital technologies curriculum and enhance learning and teaching.
Book the Professional Development "Robotics in the Digital Technologies Curriculum and beyond Workshop"on the CEWA PD Portal