Why are we doing a Makers Club?
Our goal is to create a Makers Space in our school where students can go during free time (before school, during lunch, after school, etc) to create, tinker, and solve problems. My hope is by teaching students how to create projects that they will create on their own.
What are Maker Spaces?
Markerspaces have been a growing trend in both public and school libraries. According to American Libraries magazine, Makerspaces give students a place to pursue their own interests and they provide a way for students to concentrate on their creative needs and interests (Bailey, 2013). They are meant to be an extension of the classroom that is not constrained by time, scripted curriculum, or other deadlines and they are used to help promote divergent thinking. (Bailey, 2013) A truly successful Makerspace is a place where students have the time, resources, and space to design, play, tinker, collaborate, inquire, mentor, experiment, problem solve and invent (Loertscher, Preddy, & Derry, 2013).
The media center is the perfect environment for this type of endeavor. The library is accessible to the entire school community. Students with a variety of interests and skills levels can meet to work on collaborative projects in this setting. The library or media center can offer opportunities for students to explore, STEM projects such as coding and robotics and to follow artistic pursuits like knitting and sewing.
Creativity is found at the top level of Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning. This “Makerspace” would endeavor to allow opportunities outside of the regular classroom for students to explore, tinker, design, question, and create. Students will be encouraged to collaborate with others and to follow individual pursuits with the goal of sharing their creations with the school community.
A successful Maker-space would offer plenty of choice for the students since choice is the main component in fostering intrinsic motivation (Crowe, 2013). It needs to offer a variety of mediums for the students to work with. Not every student will want to work with some form of technology. A Makerspace should include a mix of technological pursuits and hands-on crafts such as weaving, knitting, and sewing. Students need to know that creativity in science can look and feel differently than artistic creativity (Mishra, 2012). The basic premise of the Makerspace movement is that as a society we need to consume less and make more. The ideal goal being that we become more thoughtful about resources when we create the consumables in our life. (Britton, 2012)
A successful Makerspace would also create a culture where risk-taking, discovery and exploration are recognized and rewarded (Knodt, 2010). Participants would be encouraged to collaborate and take advantage of informal learning opportunities. The media center would need to provide an adaptable environment where students could define their own information needs and then seek the resources that they required to satisfy those needs (Bush, 2008). It should also be a place where students share their creative pursuits.