Creating the Right Environment - Kurti et. al.
In their article, “The Philosophy of Makerspaces,” Kurti et al provides the three following recommendations to ensure that your educational makerspace has the right environment for it to be a success:
a. The Feel of an Educational Makerspace:
For inquiry based learning to occur, students must be attracted to the space. You can invite curiosity by giving students access to a variety of tools and activities. You can inspire wonder, encourage playfulness (an extraordinarily important tool in learning), and celebrate unique solutions (including competitions, or recognizing student achievement), in order to ensure that students will return to the space.
b. Guiding principles of an Educational Makerspace:
Although students should be encouraged to explore unique interests, some basic principles need to be put in place within the makerspace. These can include concepts like it being okay to fail as failure is usually the first or second step towards success. Also, breaking things is not a cardinal sin. Another concept is collaboration with peers and learning about the power of teams.The students should be encouraged to work together on projects, and there should be consideration around this in terms of space arrangement.
c. Hiring and giving access to Spacemakers:
Spacemakers refer to the individuals who start and manage the space. They face institutional challenges and obstacles. They must be resourceful, failure tolerant, collaborative, and always learning themselves. They should also act as facilitators: they should ask questions rather than offering expertise, ensuring that students find solutions for themselves.
In his article, “Making Sense: Can makerspaces work in Academic Libraries,” Jon Burke offers a list of considerations when planning a makerspace which is meant to be a list of decision points when considering making, including:
Will it be a clean or dirty space? (will you allow for work such as carpentry and metal work)
Will the makerspace act as an open lab or just for classes
Will it be regularly staffed or checked/maintained
Will it be a noisy or quiet workspace?
Will it be a dedicated space or will it consist of mobile making
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