For the first book in our #FractusReads series, we wanted to start with a book that not only comes highly recommended, but one that has also made its way to ‘Best Seller’ in STEM Education reading. Laura Fleming’s practical and inspiring guide, Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School is a must-read for any educator looking to improve or initiate a school makerspace.
While the book covers many important aspects of setting up a makerspace, from school culture to practical ideas and tips, today we want to focus on some of the learning goals Laura highlights. While it can be easy to get caught up in the gadgets and materials for making, Laura states that the overall objective should be to drive the Four Cs: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
Schools are already filled with creativity. The challenge is effectively cultivating and harnessing it to its fullest. Laying a foundation for innovation will allow everyone to take full advantage of what a well-planned makerspace can provide. A simple makerspace that sparks the hearts and minds of students will invariably succeed whereas a fully adorned makerspace that lacks that spirit is certain to fail.
Broken down into nine very achievable targets, each of the below goals can help fence in and narrow maker activities to ensure that more than just play is happening in the space. While of course play should be encouraged, and is a hugely important ingredient to making, these nine goals will help you put together a school makerspace that is not only fun and enjoyable, but one that is deeply productive and meaningful.
School Makerspace Student Goals
- Use a wide range of idea creation techniques – such as brainstorming
- Create new and worthwhile ideas – both incremental and radical concepts
- Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts
- Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others effectively
- Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
- Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real-world limits to adopting new ideas
- View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation are a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
- Implement innovations
- Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur
What are the successes you are having with setting up a school makerspace? What kind of challenges have you encountered? Let us know your experiences in the comments below. And don’t forget to share the post for your chance to win a free copy of Worlds of Making.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Waag Society.