As I wrapped up reading this book it occurred to me that I’ve begun our school library’s makerspace but there is so much more to add, to do! My brain keeps thinking of new things, new problems, new…one step at a time! Chapter 16 was interesting but I don’t plan to take our makerspace on the road. Instead, like a previous chapter mentioned, I do think that items should be circulated, checked out by students and staff. Some items have too much monetary value to be allowed to be checked out, but many items would lend themselves nicely for that. I’ve already begun checking out items used in the library so that I can start to tract usage and I’ve found it’s a tool for keeping track of small items that easily get lost.
Chapter 18 was very helpful in thinking about how to keep the makerspaces up and running. For instance, the duct tape makerspace is a popular area, but can be expensive to maintain. For full classes experimenting with that space we tried measured tape, or group projects. But, recently I had two 4th graders come to the library armed with the Duct Tape book I checked out to them. They were ready to create! Some of those projects use a lot of tape. I will need to figure out how to keep that in our budget. Our principal generously bought the tape for us this school year but next year I don’t know if that’s in her budget. I’m thinking I need to write a proposal before the budget is set for next year, just for such items that need to be replenished. The chapter suggested clubs where a small fee was charged, or, having students bring in some of the supplies. That might be fun for next year! It also suggest crowdfunding or grants. I am holding my breath that I do get the grant I applied for; but I have a GoFundMe project all ready to launch if it doesn’t. I also need to consider other possibilities!
Chapter 18 also mentioned how makerspaces can be used with other instructors. I know we have a Challenge Lab (Just like a Makerspace in my opinion, just named differently) that the GT teacher, along with a para, runs for students that are being rewarded by their teacher. (The reasons vary but it’s mainly a reward system) I like that idea but I’d rather find a way to use it for projects, to sold specific problems that maybe a whole class has. I’d like to see students create products or ideas that enhance their classwork or understanding of a concept. We have several different types of makerspaces set up, some are coding and STEM related. I’d like to add others that encourage new knowledge and construction, like the duct tape space we have. I have weaving just about ready (Ah, but need yarn funding!), would like to add a sewing machine, have origami (Paper is an expense!). I will need to see about securing volunteers to help in these areas.
In the last chapter the future of makerspaces was discussed. I can foresee that the spaces will change as we add/subtract spaces, but I would like to see them grow. I liked the idea of a survey for students so their desires can be incorporated as we grow. I end this book feeling like I’ve learned a lot but there is so much more to learn and explore! I can’t wait to have time this summer to explore more of the references that were given. So many!