The Value of Guided Projects in Makerspaces

The Value of Guided Projects in Makerspaces | Guided projects are excellent for providing students opportunities to learn and develop their skills. As they improve by working through these projects, they are empowered to pursue open-ended projects. |

Learning How to Knit I’ve been a knitter since my best friend in college first gave me a set of needles and taught me the basic stitches. This was back in 2002. When I first started out, I needed a lot of help and guidance. I would check out books on knitting from the public library. … Read more

How to Run an AWESOME After-school Makers Club

How to run an AWESOME After-school Makers Club | I've run an after-school Makers Club at my school for the last two years. Learn my tips on setting norms and routines, balancing guided projects & free time, building in reflection and sharing your projects with the world.

When I first started up my makerspace at Stewart, I knew that getting students in there after school would be the ideal time to really dive deep into projects and develop a community of makers.  During those first six months, my school didn’t have afterschool clubs but was piloting during school clubs with 6th graders, … Read more

Makerspace Logistics: How to Find a Schedule that Works

Makerspace Logistics: How to Find a Schedule that Works | One of the most frequent questions I get about our makerspace is how we schedule it, ie. when do students use our space? Here, I take a look at how our space is available to students, and offer ideas for finding a schedule that works for your school

During my poster session at ISTE, I must have been asked dozens of times: “When do students use your Makerspace?  How do you organize scheduling?” I am in a magnet middle school on a flexible schedule.  I have a very supportive administration and staff and an enthusiastic student body that’s eager to learn.  I realize that … Read more

Tinkering Fundamentals: Week 6

Tinkering Fundamentals: Week 6 | After the final week of the Tinkering Fundamentals MOOC, I look back and reflect on what I've learned throughout the course.

Tinkering Fundamentals is a massive open online course (MOOC) put on by San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum every summer.  I’m going to be chronicling my six weeks with this course here so you can learn along with me.  See Week One, Week Two , Week Three, Week Four, and Week Five  for more. Wow, these last six weeks have flown … Read more

2014: The Year in Tweets

2014 had been a pretty amazing year for me, so I felt like this week would be a good time to take a look back.  Rather than write up a paragraph on each month, I thought that it would be more fun to write one tweet per month.  So here is my year in review, … Read more

Build of the Week: The Best Game Ever

This week, I introduced my after-school STEAM club to the Cardboard Challenge.  When I first told them we were going to be building games from cardboard, my teens were skeptical.  All their brainstorming ideas at first involved coding and electronics.  Then we watched Caine’s Arcade and they were entranced.  Suddenly, the ideas started pouring out … Read more

The Stewart Makerspace Journey

The Stewart Makerspace Journey | The story of the first two years of creating a makerspace in a middle school.
The Stewart Middle Magnet School Library Makerspace Journey I first started my makerspace journey at Stewart Middle Magnet School in January 2014 with a few bins of K'nex spread out on some library tables.  It then grew and expanded into a thriving program and a vital part of the library and school.  Take a look ... Read more

Makerspace Resources

Makerspace Resources | Whether you're just getting started learning about makerspaces or already have a thriving Maker program going, there will be something on this page for you. I've curated articles, links, video and tons of other resources here to help you along your Maker journey.
All the Makerspace resources you could hope for (and more) I first started learning about the Maker Movement in education and makerspaces in late 2013.  Since then, I've been using this page to compile and curate some of the best articles, videos, blogs, books and other resources that have helped me along the way.  My ... Read more

How to Start a Classroom Makerspace from Scratch

How to start a classroom makerspace from scratch : Want to build a mini classroom makerspace? Here's some advice and supply recommendations to get you started.

In the 2021-2022 school year, I collaborated with our 6th grade science teacher to incorporate makerspace activities into her curriculum.  We decided on a hybrid approach where for some projects, students would come up to the library makerspace and for others, I would come down to the classroom.  So we decided to purchase supplies (using … Read more