“I have money to start a makerspace at my school. What should I buy?”
It’s the most common question seen and heard about makerspaces in schools. It’s understandable. Making IS exciting. It’s easy to get caught up in the joy of creating with digital tools, 3d printers, coding and programming, and robotics. I’ve um, admittedly, even got caught up in the stuff myself.
But in stepping back to look at how this type of mindset empowers kids and teachers, I know more than ever that standardizing the concept of a makerspace is the LAST thing needed in education. It’s about organically developing a space, through the needs of teachers and students in your school. It’s about fostering a risk-taking mindset while evolving curriculum to enhance it in classrooms all around the school. It’s about valuing creativity, and that means putting your school’s art on display just as much as your school’s athletics are on display. It’s about furniture and space that works for your kids, regardless of what’s popular or traditional. It might be a Hokki stool, but it also might be a rug on the floor. It might be a standing desk, but it also might be a regular old wood desk painted red that kids and gather around and brainstorm.
The thing about innovation is that there is no cookie-cutter for it. Sometimes it’s about putting a new twist on old things, and sometimes it’s about putting some new things into old ways. It’s about refusing the cookie-cutter and instead looking within your classroom or school and asking a very simple question… What is it that makes your kids come alive? What makes your teachers come alive?
Because THAT is what your school needs.
Post and quote based on an all time favorite quote of mine by Howard Thurman: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Yeah, that.