Makerspaces can come in a lot of different forms and contain a host of different tools, but they generally have a few things in common:
- Project-Based Learning at its Finest – there is no better tool for hands-on learning exploration than a Makerspace. Stocked with tools of the trade (3D printers, robotics, STEM tools), Makerspaces are full of all of the things that take creativity to the next level.
- Shared Resources – When schools design and build Makerspaces, they have the ability to transform not one, but several classes. Teachers can schedule time, and/or use Makerspace time as a motivator for students. Rather than purchasing resources for each classroom, teachers share time and tools – a solid investment for any district.
- Improved Rigor – STEM is front and center in each Makerspace environment. Successful schools, however, provide key curriculum tie-ins to classroom activities while teaching 21st century skills.
- Age Appropriate – when schools stock a Makerspace with the right tools, the space can be used for all ages. For example, 3D printing is viable at the elementary level (especially with curriculum tools like Maker’s Empire), but it’s also viable in different ways at the middle and high school level. The same technology can be used for multiple grade levels with the proper curriculum and support at each level.
A Makerspace can have a huge impact on educational outcomes, but seem like a fun break from the normal classroom routine for your students. Does your school have a Makerspace? Tell us about it – share your Makerspace Best Practices in the comments section!
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