- Laura Fleming, the library media specialist at New Milford High School (N.J.) and the author of Worlds of Making, shared several tips for schools looking to launch a makerspace with EdTech: Focus on K-12.
- When planning a makerspace, educators should consider the needs of students and what will be of the most benefit to them within the given budget, how making can fit within existing STEM programs, and how current or emerging STEM trends can be included.
- Additionally, she advises schools to constantly learn from their makerspace experiences so the program can evolve accordingly, and to utilize STEM program supplies within the space.
Makerspaces present a valuable opportunity for schools and districts to provide students with hands-on STEM learning opportunities in a less formal setting than the classroom. And that informality is critical to creating authentic learning experiences for students within that space, making it that much more imperative that educators put a significant amount of thought into striking the right balance between planned lessons and unguided learning when using those tools.
Given the creativity possible in makerspaces, schools should also consider the possibilities of linking connections to the arts. Doing so has been increasingly popular via STEAM, and tools like computer-aided design programs and 3D printers frequently found in these settings provide the perfect opportunity to show how the arts can work in the professional world.