Forty individuals attended a free- two hour intro to the Maker Movement workshop entitled “Building Maker Mindsets and Culture Through Makerspaces.” The participants were K-12 teachers, school administrators, media specialists, curious community members, and those looking to establish Makerspaces as a business entity. Participants were introduced to what the Maker Mindset is, the Maker Manifesto, and culture. They viewed a wide-array of existing Makerspaces, Fab Labs, Hackerspaces and more via a Power Point to get an idea of how diverse Makerspaces and the like can be. However diverse these spaces are, they all have in common the purpose to empower individuals through creative processes, communication, collaboration, and problem-solving. Makerspaces, Fab Labs, Hackerspaces are popping up everywhere throughout the nation in both formal and informal learning environments, as well as privately funded Makerspaces. There are several education initiatives to promote the Maker Mindset and Makerspaces including “Educate to Innovate” and the Digital Promise.
I’ve been visiting as many Makerspaces as I can, documenting the spaces meeting with the founders and members of the makerspaces to help others in their efforts to establish and sustain their existing makerspaces. I see the inclusion of Makerspaces within school and library settings as being a natural progression to designing environments that will allow for creativity, empowerment, and innovation. The Maker Mindset and Culture is aligned with the learning goals of Next Generation Science Standards and 21st Century skills. But again, like many movements that come and go it’s not about jumping on the “band wagon”, and filling a space with a bunch of stuff, and just “making”. It’s really about making meaning of what inspires you as a “Maker”.
The following photos were taken during the “Building Maker Mindsets and Culture Through Makerspaces” workshop. During the workshop participants were introduced to a variety of materials that can be incorporated within Makerspaces, kits that are often used in makerspaces such as littleBits, Makey Makey, Circuit Scribe, etc. They were introduced to robotics, coding through Ozobot, Dash and Dot, 3D printing, wood working, artistic expression stations, building centers, drones, reverse engineering, tinkering, and Maker Mindset & STEM literature.
For more information about the Maker Ed and STEM professional staff development workshops Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski provides to educators and media specialists contact her via the contact form on this site.