Giving a Makerspace
Today, my friend Nichole Thomas @MrsThomasTRT and I gave away a Super Deluxe Makerspace Starter Kit to a colleague.
Nichole and I hosted an Edcamp style session on makerspaces at the December meeting for Technology Resource Teachers (TRTs) in our school district. One of the participants was really excited about the idea of makerspaces and the potential for her students but had no money to get started. She is from a small school that doesn’t have the same community resources as the larger schools in our district.
Nichole and I put our heads together and decided to do something to help out. Professional development about starting makerspaces is great but it doesn’t create a change if you can’t put those ideas into action.
We started by grabbing extra tools and supplies from our personal maker collections. My school makerspace regifted a MakerEd.org Possibility Box we received from Maker Ed as a part of our prize winnings from the US Department of Education’s CTE Makeover Challenge.
I emptied out a 17L tote that I used for storing materials for presentations and we filled it up. In addition to crafting supplies there were Makey Makeys, littleBits, Snap Circuits, Drawdio, supplies for an artbot and some maker swag from Maker Faire. We also asked our fellow TRTs to raid their craft rooms and tech toys and bring supplies to the meeting. We scored a couple Google Cardboard units to add in.
The recipient of the Super Deluxe Makerspace Starter Kit was surprised by the gift but had already cleared a 10′ x 10′ space in the library where she works for a makerspace and now has tools and supplies to get started.
If the idea of makerspaces in schools are going to spread, we need to pay it forward and help other passionate educators when we can.
If you have ideas on how to grow makerspaces in more schools or want to donate supplies to help other schools start makerspaces, leave a comment or contact me on Twitter @DesignMakeTeach.