How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace

How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace // Books are an essential part of any makerspace. Here's advice on how to choose the right books for your particular makerspace and school.

Why We Need Books in Makerspaces Books play an essential role in all makerspaces, whether they are in the library or not.  Instructional books can support students in learning complex skills and tools. Project books can give ideas and inspiration for what to make next.  Art books can provide visual inspiration.   Professional development books can … Read more

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces // Putting into words your ideas and philosophy on a particular concept isn't always easy. In this post, I attempt to articulate my own personal philosophy on makerspaces in schools.

Writing a post like this isn’t easy.  I feel like I know in my heart what my philosophy on makerspaces is, but putting it into tangible statements seems harder.  So I started thinking about this more as a manifesto – if I was to make a grand statement about what I feel the value of … Read more

How to Build Creativity (and More ) Through Making

How to Build Creativity (and more) Through Making // The Four C's are a popular trend in education right now. They may be a trend, but they're also valuable skills that students can learn through making - and it doesn't have to be expensive or complicated.

The Four C’s are big in education right now: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication.  We talk constantly about how we need to be teaching our students these skills.   I’m not always a big fan of buzzwords – even though I’ve only been in education for less than a decade, I realize that they come … Read more

How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop

How to Run a Recycled Book Art Workshop : A recycled book art workshop is a fun, budget friendly project for any makerspace.

Many educators falsely believe that you can’t start a makerspace without a huge budget.  But some of the best makerspace supplies are free! As part of our new Maker Mondays program, I recently tried out a new activity with my students that went off great.  I only spent around $50 on supplies, most of which … Read more

SLJ Post: A Student-Designed Maker Cart

A Student Designed Maker Cart | In an article I wrote for School Library Journal, I describe a powerful collaboration that became the Furniture Challenge, where my students designed a cart for makerspaces, which was later manufactured by CEF>

Note: This post is a brief summary/intro of an article I wrote that appeared in the Septemeber 2017 School Library Journal.  To read the full article, click here. The Furniture Challenge Towards the end of the 2017 school year, I introduced a design challenge to my afterschool Maker’s Club that was one of our best ones … Read more

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace

AASL Post: What You Really Need to Create a Makerspace | To create a culture of positivity in the maker movement, we need to focus less on the stuff and more on the spirit of MakerEd.

With a changing and growing movement, many are declaring that there are right and wrong ways of doing things. We are getting so hung up on the specifics and our own ideas of what a makerspace SHOULD be, that we’re losing the sight of the big picture. We worry far too much about the stuff. … Read more

The 2017 Stewart Maker Fair: A Unique Showcase of Awesome

The 2017 Stewart Maker Fair: A Unique Showcase of Awesome | At the 2017 Stewart Maker Fair, my students focused less on different guided activities and more on showcasing their best projects. The results were amazing.

2017 was my fourth year of holding a Maker Fair at Stewart Middle Magnet School (see 2016, 2015 and 2014 for the previous ones).  This year, my students had to put together everything for our Maker Fair in an extra short period of time, since the school year ended early.  They rose to the challenge … Read more

Demco Post: 3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace

3 Design Challenges for the Low Tech Makerspace : Check out my Demco post to read up on three different design challenges you can do with your students in a low-tech/no-tech makerspace. All are budget friendly and easy to do.

Check out my post on Demco to learn more about design challenges in low tech makerspaces! Many educators have the misconception that makerspace activities always need to involve expensive technology like 3-D printers and circuit kits. But this isn’t true. Students can have amazing learning experiences in makerspaces with low-tech and no-tech tools. Design challenges … Read more