The idea of ‘making’ has come full circle recognizing it’s birth in past programs such as auto shop and home economics; yet realizing today it is the basis for full research, development and innovation. ‘Making’ is interwoven into the curriculum of forward thinking schools who are benefiting from student engagement which improves attendance, behavior issues and increases academic gains.
A ‘maker mindset’ values the creative use of available resources with a keen eye to budgetary constraints which allows makerspaces to exist across the economic spectrum of learners. It is inspired by STEM activities with aspirations of making a difference in the future for all students.
What considerations should be taken when initially creating a successful makerspace? For a successful makerspace, don’t forget to provide adequate space for makers, be aware of the needs of your makers commensurate with age and ability, and work within your budget. Remember to include staff development, student input and have adequate supplies available when planning your makerspace. Successful makerspaces are built on mentoring students by providing a wide-range of diversity in teachers, community leaders and an inclusive community of participants.
Integrating ‘making’ into the curriculum can be as simple as having students share what they learn to re-imagining creative assessments of products. Students can be given opportunities to apply knowledge gained in ‘making’ in pursuit of academic goals. For example; utilizing technology in science classes via 3-D printing or developing virtual reality projects.
How do makerspaces fuel future innovation? Through use of nascent technologies, students can find concrete ways to express their creativity in new and exciting ways. Students who are involved in ‘making’ can affect the future by creating a culture of sharing what they learn with a broader community to work on real world projects.
Makerspaces have expanded beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and are intricate parts of many community centers, university outreach programs and summer programs for students. Parents can find information about making at their local libraries, nearby museums and science centers, and from online sources. For more information, check out our links below. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
John Spencer: The Creative Classroom (YouTube Channel)
Byrdseed: A Week of Curiosities and Puzzlements (free subscription)
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: email@example.com
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad
Many thanks to Krissy Venosdale @Venspired for filling in as moderator at last week’s chat. Krissy is a member of the #gtchat Advisory Board and the Innovation Coordinator at The Kinkaid School in Houston, TX. Her passion is undeniably the Maker Movement. You can read more at her blog.
Below please find links to the incredible resources shared during this chat by Krissy and chat participants.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
The Invent to Learn Guide to Fun (Amazon)
Sketch Play (pdf)