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

The Creature Challenge: Make a Creature that Does Something

The Creature Challenge: Make a Creature That Does Something: Student created design challenges can be powerful motivators for students. In this student challenge, the Stewart Makers Club used different materials to build creatures that did something.

Design challenges are powerful ways to engage students in making (that’s why I co-wrote a book about them).  Sometimes, I craft the design challenges myself.  But other times, I go to my students and ask them to create their own design challenges.  This one was one of those, and I think it was brilliant: The … Read more

AASL Post: How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library

AASL Post: How to Build a Maker Culture in Your Library: A positive maker culture is the foundation of a successful maker program. Here are some ways that you can build and grow a maker culture in your library.

School libraries are starting makerspaces all over the world. It’s an exciting time in education as we rediscover the power of creativity. But many schools rush to start makerspaces so quickly that they neglect building the maker culture. Developing a maker culture is a lot like developing a love of reading, it takes time and … Read more

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage

How to Create Easy DIY MaKeyMaKey Storage | A quick, easy tutorial on getting your MaKeyMaKeys organized.

When I first started the Stewart Makerspace back in 2014, one of the earliest tools that I purchased was a MaKeyMaKey.  My students loved it, and because they are so affordable (only $50 each) I was able to get a set of 10 of them through a DonorsChoose project, allowing students to work on longer … Read more

Demco Post: 5 Makerspace Projects for Teen Tech Week

5 Makerspace Projects for Teen Tech Week | In my post for Demco Ideas, I go over five different makerspace project ideas for ALA's Teen Tech Week, with the 2017 theme of Be the Source of Change

ALA’s Teen Tech Week will be upon us before we know it (March 5-11).  To help get ready for this event, I’ve written a post for Demco Ideas with 5 makerspace project ideas to tie in with this year’s theme, “Be the Source of Change”.  It was hard to limit it to just five ideas, … Read more

How to Repair a LEGO Wall Baseplate

How to Repair a LEGO Wall Baseplate | When you build a LEGO wall, you will occasionally have to fix and reglue a baseplate. Here's how.

When I first built our Epic LEGO wall back in Sepetember 2014, I had no idea how much the concept would resonate with people.  Since then, I’ve seen dozens of amazing LEGO walls and variations of LEGO walls (including several in Canada!).  I’ve seen people create mobile walls, walls that can covert into tables, LEGO circulation … Read more

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why Making and Literacy Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

AASL Post: 3 Reasons Why Making and Literacy Aren't Mutually Exclusive: Starting a makerspace in a school library does not mean abandoning literacy. Here are three ways that making supports literacy in a school library

My post last month on Why a Makerspace isn’t a Magic Cure-all for Your Problems gained a lot of notice.  I’ve seen a vibrant social media conversation take off since then.  I have heard many people say in the conversation about making and libraries that they have reservations.  Many are worried about sacrificing literacy or reading when they … Read more

3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries

3 Important Takeaways on the Future of School Libraries | At SLJ Leadership Summit 2016, the future of libraries was an issue that was front and center. Here are my three takeaways from the event.

The future of school libraries is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about.  In October, I had the honor and privilege of attending School Library Journal Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.  As I looked back over my notes from the event, I realized that our future was front and center in all … Read more