Are we preparing students for the 21st Century? Are we helping students to become thinkers, questioners, tinkerers, and creators? A makerspace is one way that we can help our students to explore possibilities beyond the typical classroom setting. Invent to Learn by Silvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager provides a great 'how-to' for educators looking to create a makerspace at their school. At Talahi, we will call our makerspace the Talahi Tinkerlab.
What is a Makerspace?
A makerspace is a room or area where students can go to create, design, and construct. The makerspace provides the tools and raw materials while the student provides the imagination and designs. Teachers can use the makerspace to supplement a class project, to provide a brain break for students, to create with small groups, or to assist in a Genius Hour project. We don't believe that everyone should grow up to be an engineer, but everyone should learn to think like an engineer when faced with a difficult task.
Where is the Talahi Makerspace?
Currently, we do not have a designated space for our Makerspace. It is a mobile lab that stays in a classroom for a week. We hope to have an actual room or area designated at the Makerspace by next year (2015-16).
What is in our Makerspace?
Currently our Makerspace has the following materials:
Lego Robotics EV3
Pipe Cleaners, straws, plastic cups, string
Makedo rivets and saws
Laptops for Coding and Design
Video Camera with tripod and green screen
3Doodler 3D Printing Pen
What other materials could we get for our Makerspace?
Here is a list from Invent to Learn, but don't let that limit you. Basically, if you find something that you think would allow students to build, explore, and create then bring it into your makerspace and let students' imaginations run with them.
If you have other passions or ideas of what should be in the Talahi Makerspace please contact me here.
Finally, feel free to bring in any 'making' materials like cardboard boxes, milk jugs (washed!), plastic cups, straws, etc. We have a very small budget for the makerspace so we have to be creative.
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