Makerspaces are popping up all over the world, and they are becoming increasingly popular in schools. Makerspace.com describes makerspaces as, “a collaborative work space inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools.” A spare classroom or a corner of a library might be turned into a space where students can collaborate, design and create.
A variety of tools and materials can go into a makerspace. Here are some ideas for setting up your makerspace.
Design for Collaboration
One of the most important aspects of a makerspace is giving students the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas. Designing a space that invites collaboration, while also providing the necessary items like power outlets, lighting, and project appropriate tables and seating, is important. Jeff Turk, CEO of Formaspace, shared with Architect Magazine the following advice: “A makerspace should enable, and not disable creation.”
A makerspace is a space designed for experimentation, which means it is a great place to implement innovative technology. Schools can invest in tech for one collaborative space while still exposing a lot of students to the new technology. Screen-printing equipment, robots, manufacturing tools or even mixed reality are all great pieces of technology to try out in a makerspace.
Low Tech Tools
A makerspace may be an ideal location to try out innovative technology, but it’s also a perfect place to invite students to get creative with low tech tools. Education blogger The Daring Librarian gives tips on how to start a makerspace with a small budget. Legos, duct tape, foil, and a spare computer are all it takes to get started.
Computers & 3D Printers
A makerspace is not a computer lab, but it is worth having a computer or two available. Students can design projects virtually without worrying about making mistakes, and then bring the the completed design to life on a 3D printer. Make: magazine has a 3D Printer Buyer’s Guide that can help compare the different models on the market.
Makers are people of all ages from all backgrounds in all areas of the world, and there is no “right” way to design your makerspace. Decide what goals you want to accomplish with a makerspace, and then design and outfit a space to help reach those goals.
What would you put in your makerspace?
Looking for a 3D Printer for your Makerspace? For a limited time, zSpace customers are eligible for a 10% discount on Dremel 3D printers. Learn more at zSpace + Dremel Partnership.