Read this Book: STEAM Makers by Jacie Maslyk

Read this Book: STEAM Makers | My review of Jacie Maslyk's fantastic book. It's an excellent resource for anyone at the elementary level (or any level really) who's interested in starting a makerspace. Jacie comes at this from the perspective of an adminstrator, making this a great resource for those trying to convince hesitant admin about makerspaces.

STEAM Makers: Fostering Creativity & Innovation in the Elementary Classroom At least once a week, I get a tweet or e-mail asking about resources for starting a makerspace in an elementary school, incorporating maker activities into elementary classrooms, or convincing hesitant administrators as to why makerspaces are incredible and can help teach curriculum.  I worked … Read more

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work: AASL Knowledge Quest post | Finding the best way to get your students to learn procedures can be tricky. Check out these tips on how to create makerspace procedures that will work.

How to Create Makerspace Procedures that Work When we set up our libraries and classrooms, we create procedures to help keep things running smoothly. In the same way, we need to create makerspace procedures that help our students understand how to utilize and participate in our spaces. It can be tricky to figure out the … Read more

3 Reasons Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces

3 Reasons Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces | Perler beads are by far one of the most popular items in my makerspace. In this post, I explain why they are an awesome addition to any makerspace, and offer some advice on incorporating them into your space.

Why Perler Beads are Awesome for Makerspaces Perler Beads were one of the earliest elements of my makerspace.  I originally added them as a pop-up station during Teen Tech Week in 2014.  They ended up being such a surprise hit that they became a permanent part of our makerspace.  They’re one of my students favorite … Read more

AASL Post: How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace

How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace | AASL Knowledge Quest, @DianaLRendina | Despite what it may seem like from Instagram feeds and blog posts, makerspaces are not always rainbows and sunshine. Stuff goes wrong. Things get broken. Students aren't always engaged. Here's some advice on how to deal when things go wrong in your space.

How to Deal When Things Go Wrong in Your Makerspace: An AASL Knowledge Quest Post In my recent AASL Knowledge Quest post, I get into the messier and less pleasant aspects of running a makerspace.  The fact is that things go wrong in makerspaces, and it helps to be equipped with how to deal with … Read more

Maker Projects: The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave

Maker Projects- The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave | Maker Projects posts feature projects my students have put together. This post details the cardboard Maker Cave that came together over the course of several weeks. The cave was an installation at our schoolwide Maker Fair.

The Awesome Cardboard Maker Cave Last spring, I gave my after-school Makers Club a challenge – create a unique, interactive project that guests can interact with at our 2016 Maker Fair.  We had held the Cardboard Challenge earlier in the school year, giving my students lots of ideas on how to use cardboard as a medium. … Read more

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop

How to Run a SUPER Circuit Bracelet Workshop | I ran a Circuit Bracelet workshop with our STEMgirls club this year and we had tons of fun. I also learned a lot of lessons along the way and wanted to share here so that YOU can run a super circuit bracelet workshop in your makerspace.

The Story of the STEMgirls Club My school is a STEM magnet school and unfortunately, that leads to a disproportionate number of male students.  This year the ratio was 65% male, 35% female, which led to many of my female students feeling disenfranchised.  I wanted to do something to help create a safe environment for … Read more

ISTE 2016: Denver Adventures, Presentations and More

ISTE 2016- Denver Adventures, Makerspaces, Presentations and More : ISTE 2016 in Denver was an amazing, wonderful whirlwind of activity. In this post, I give a day-by-day breakdown of my adventures, makerspaces I visited, presentations and more.

ISTE 2016, Denver, Colorado Last week, I was in Denver for the International Society for Technology in Education conference.  This was my third ISTE conference, and like the other two in Atlanta and Philadelphia, it was amazing and exhausting.  It’s taken me a few days to get my energy back and write this post.  I … Read more

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair: Featuring the Awesome MakerCave & More

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair | Our 3rd Annual MakerFair was an awesome, amazing event. Learn all about our Maker Stations, Make and Take activities, and our awesome student projects, including the K'nex Crossbow, Maker Cave. K'nex roller coaster and Sphero vs. Dash obstacle course.

The 2016 Stewart MakerFair Every year since we started our makerspace in January 2014, we’ve held a Maker Fair during the last conference night of the year (See our 2014 MakerFair and our 2015 MakerFair).  This year’s was even bigger and more awesome.  We had more interactive student projects and I had more student volunteers … Read more

3 Ways a MakerFair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool: AASL Post

3 Ways a Makerfair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool: AASL Post | A Makerfair can be an amazing advocacy tool for both your library and your makerspace. Learn how it can help you bring your community in, give your students a chance to be teachers and serve as a documentation of student learning.

3 Ways Your MakerFair Can Be An Awesome Advocacy Tool As I reflect back on these three MakerFairs, I’ve come to realize what a powerful advocacy tool they have been for our space. You can tell people about how awesome your makerspace is all you want, but when they actually get to see it in … Read more

3 Reasons Why You Need to Have Tools in a Makerspace

3 Reasons Why You Need to Have Tools in a Makerspace | When I talked about how a makerspace isn't defined by the tools it does or does not have, some misinterpreted me as saying that tools were optional in makerspaces. In this post, I discuss the importance of tools and how they can create vital learning experiences for our students. But at the same time, it's less about what those tools are and more about what they can do for our students.

Reflecting on “Defining Makerspaces” Just over a year ago, I wrote my post on Defining Makerspaces.  It was inspired after receiving a criticism about how my makerspace wasn’t a “real makerspace” because we didn’t have any power tools.  The focus on that article was how a makerspace is defined more by the learning experiences of … Read more