A place to be creative because life consists of projects!
What is a MakerSpace?
The Strongsville City School District is committed to providing premier learning experiences for our students, including dedicated MakerSpaces.
Our MakerSpaces provide areas for hands-on, project-based learning adventures that are designed to accommodate a wide range of activities.
These activities include:
Textiles and sewing
Video Production / Green Screen
Think[box] at Case Western Reserve
What types of activities and projects could be done there?
A MakerSpace is a place for informal, hands on learning where students and adults can develop new skills based on personal interest and/or classroom application.
"voluntary, self directed, meaningful, rewarding, interest-driven, diverse activities & opportunities"
"Tinkering is what happens when you try something you don't quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination, and curiosity."
“The modern maker movement also embraces the ability to share not only the products, but the JOYFUL process of making with videos, blogs, and pictures.”
"Students with a tinkering mindset and a space full of creative opportunities will create products, tackle problems, and devise intricate inquiry strategies as they tinker, make, and build."
"Tinkering is exactly how real science and engineering are done."
"The origin of the word 'engineer' is a maker of an 'engine,' which is from the Latin word ingenium, meaning a clever invention. Engineering is the application of scientific principles to design, build, and invent."
Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom
"Thingiverse Education provides over a hundred free lessons that make teaching with a 3D printer easier and more effective for a variety of grade levels and subjects. It also provides a community where educators can exchange best practices or remix projects."
The Maker Movement: A Learning Revolution
"The impulse to create is one of the most basic human drives. As far back as the Stone Age, we were using materials in our environment to fashion tools for solving the problems we encountered. And in the millions of years since then, we have never stopped creating. In fact, the rise of civilization is largely defined by the progress of technology of one kind or another.
Today, the availability of affordable constructive technology and the ability to share online has fueled the latest evolutionary spurt in this facet of human development. New tools that enable hands-on learning — 3D printers, robotics, microprocessors, wearable computers, e-textiles, “smart” materials and new programming languages — are giving individuals the power to invent. We’re not just talking about adults. Children of all ages can use these tools to move from passive receivers of knowledge to real-world makers. This has the potential to completely revolutionize education as we know it. And the movement has already begun.
Welcome to the maker movement
The key to the explosion of the maker movement is accessibility. Today ingenious new inventions are affordable and often free. Anyone can find and share tools, instructions and ideas online, where a vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of global problem solvers congregates — when they’re not collaborating face to face.
In 2013, there were more than 100 Maker Faires — “the greatest show-and-tells on earth” — and Mini Maker Faires across the globe. At last year’s Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, more than 150,000 children and adults gathered over a weekend to make things, show off, challenge one another, laugh, play, invent, tinker, solve problems and inspire.
In this magical environment full of fire-breathing sculptures; cupcake cars; bicycle-powered rock bands; soda and Mentos–propelled fountains; and workshops in programming, soldering, welding, lock-picking, knitting, crocheting and robot making, it is expertise — rather than the age of the expert — that is the coin of the realm. Makers are constructing knowledge as they build physical artifacts that have real-world value."
Adam Savage's Ten Rules for Success
"The truly wonderful Adam Savage, co-host of Mythbusters, co-founder ofTested, and BB contributor, closed our theatrical experience yesterday with an energizing and inspiring talk about why he is a maker. Adam shared ten rules for success that we would all do well to follow:1. Get good at something.
Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things.
2. Getting good at stuff takes practice.
Lots and lots of practice.
3. Get OBSESSED.
Everyone at the top of their field is obsessed with what they're doing.
4. Doing something well and thoroughly is its OWN reward.
5. Show and Tell.
If you do something well and you're happy with it, for FSM's sake, tell EVERYONE.
6. If you want something, ASK.
If something piques your interest, tell someone. If you want to learn something, ask someone, like your BOSS. As an employer, I can tell you, people who want to learn new skills are people I want to keep employed.
7. Have GOALS.
Make up goals. Set goals. Regularly assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of them. This is a kind of prayer that works, and works well. Allow for the fact that things will NEVER turn out like you think they will, and you must be prepared to end up miles from where you intended.
8. Be nice. To EVERYONE.
Life is way too short to be an a*
You will fail. It's one of our jobs in life. Keep failing. When you fail, admit it. When you don't, don't get cocky. 'Cause you're just about to fail again.
10. WORK YOUR A** OFF.
Work like your life depends on it..."
What's On the Horizon for K-12 Ed Tech?
"Makerspaces will become the norm in schools across the country, with the library or computer lab being converted to innovative learning labs with 3-D printers, robots, drones, circuits, LEDs, metal, tools and a variety of traditional supplies like paper, cardboard boxes and paints. The makerspaces will spark further interest in robotics programs and become a normal place in schools as opposed to a five-year fad."
"Students need to have the opportunity to explore, build and discover in a makerspace. This allows us to move beyond one-size fits all projects into a personalized constructivist approach to education. Most stations in a makerspace will encourage the construction of something. The breakerspace station will encourage just the opposite. Laura Fleming suggests setting up a Take-Apart Tech Station, or "breaker space", where technology and other classroom or household items are provided and designated for students specifically to disassemble and investigate and to build.
Students will have a chance to truly wonder, ask questions, take risks, and have no fear of doing something wrong!
By providing some simple tools such as protective eye wear, scissors, hammers, gloves and old technology like broken down classroom computers, students can dissect and remix in your makerspace!"
How to Use Recycled Tech Devices as Learning Tools
"In a recent (excellent) Edutopia article, fifth-grade teacher Scott Bedley describes how he created an un-makerspace. He cites the recent maker movement and a trip to a Maker Faire as his inspiration: “A makerspace is a place for students to take raw materials and create ‘things’ using their imagination. The creativity required and the ‘in-time’ learning that a makerspace provides are powerful. I saw an example of the power of making this last school year when some of my students, who had normally struggled in a traditional class, created things such as a working catapult fashioned out of popsicle sticks, rubber-bands, and cardboard.”
However, Bedley also spoke with the makers at the Bay Area Maker Faire and realized that many of them took things apart when they were kids, as he did. He believes that we have an inner drive to create an understanding of the world around us, and that includes dissecting objects to ask and answer related questions. His un-makerspace gives students the opportunity to explore their own questions and answers, just as makerspaces give students a hands-on experience."
Makerspaces and You #MakerEd
Makerspaces and You #MakerEd
If you want to know a bit more about Making and Makerspaces, this is the post for you! I wanted to share just a few tips with anyone out there that is interested in exploring the world of Making for themselves or their students.
1. If you want your students to Make, you need to Make.
You have to be ok with trying new things and seeing where the adventure takes you. I've learned to code a Raspberry Pi and Arduino. I've made some very cool, crazy things, and practical things as I honed my Maker skills. You do not need to be an expert in all areas, but start to dabble and learn alongside your students if they are trying something new. It's a great experience to learn something brand new from scratch. Start Making to create new Makers.
2. Create a Safe Place for Failure
The biggest thing I've learned about Making is that you are going to mess up. Things are not going to work the first time and some things might not work at all despite the hours put in. Students need to know that it is ok for things not to work right away. If you are Making with the students, they will see that failure is part of the process. People say, "You have to fall down a few times before you ride a bike successfully". In the Maker world, you are going to burn a few finger tips before the solder is in place.
3. Have some fun
When it comes to choosing projects, have some fun. Go out there and find something that just looks neat. You will learn many valuable skills along the way no matter what you choose, so you might as well choose something interesting and fun to you. Make: and Instructables are great places to start looking for fun projects. If you are not having fun Making, something is terribly wrong.
These are just a few things I've learned over the course of my time Making. I'm always learning something new and exciting. You can keep up to date on my crazy Making projects on Twitter or Instagram. If you want to dive deeper into Makerspaces and want to set up a space in your school, check out my book, Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces. It's perfect for someone who is just getting started in the Maker world and needs a good "how to" guide to get them started.
My book has also been used by schools and districts as a book study. If this is something you might want to bring to your school or district, send me an email so we can set up a time to chat and make it happen.