There has been a lot of buzz around makerspaces recently – and for good reason. Typically, makerspaces create an environment that can support engaging, hands-on learning experiences.
However, it can be hard to define what makes a “makerspace.” When you say “makerspace” to three different people, they will likely have three different ideas about what that space looks like. Some people envision your typical science lab. Others envision robotics labs with high-tech equipment. Often, people think of a futuristic, “start-up” style room complete with whiteboards and 3D printers.
All of these elements are important in a makerspace. However, what is often more important than what the space physically looks like, is the type of atmosphere of innovation and engagement that the space supports. Therefore, it is important for schools to really examine why they want a makerspace, and how it will be used.
This article from Edutopia outlines some great essential questions for schools to ponder when they are determining what type of makerspace suits their unique needs. These questions include, “What types of activities will be done there?” “Which tools are most needed?” and “Who are the kids that will be using the space?”