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 hope is that you will consider this a go-to resource as you progress along your own Maker journey. No matter whether you’re just getting started with makerspaces or are looking to grow your program, there’s something here for you.
What is the Maker Movement?
The Maker Movement has been around for a lot longer than many of us realize. Really, the desire to make things with our hands has existed since the dawn of humanity and DIY culture has long played an important role. Make Magazine has been around since 2005 and the first Maker Faire was held in 2006. Check out the articles below for a great take on what the Maker Movement means for education.
- Thinkers and Tinkers: The Maker Movement – Fantastic website that goes over the basics of what the Maker Movement is, how it started, and how it can fit in with your school.
- How the Maker Movement is Transforming Education – Great article from Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez about the basics of the Maker Movement and practical ways to bring it into your school.
Renovated Learning Makerspace Posts
- The Value of Guided Projects in Makerspaces: Why we need to balance open exploration with guided projects
- Teaching the Design Process in Makerspaces: A collaboration with another teacher that used the Design Process in conjunction with a makerspace project
- Make & Takes: Let Students Own the Learning: Why it’s good to have some projects in your makerspace that students are allowed to keep.
- How to Build an EPIC LEGO Wall: You know you want one 😉
- LEGO Wall Round-Up: Don’t have an 80 x 80 inch wall space? Check out how all these schools incorporated LEGO walls.
- Stewart Maker Fair 2015: Our school Maker Fair is an annual event and a fabulous advocacy tool all in one.
- The Arts and Crafts Makerspace: Because arts & crafts are rad 🙂
- Our Makerspace Journey: This page documents the first year of creating our makerspace at Stewart Middle Magnet.
- All my posts on STARTING A MAKERSPACE
- All my posts on GROWING A MAKERSPACE
Articles I’ve written elsewhere:
- How to Start a Makerspace when You’re Broke (AASL)
- Advocating for Makerspaces in Libraries (AASL)
- Makerspaces in Schools: Creating STEAM Connections (Demco)
- Building Curriculum Connections into Makerspaces
- STEM Collaborations: Partnering with Your Science Teachers
Other makerspace resources I’ve curated/created:
Maker Blogs to Follow
Colleen Grave’s first started a makerspace at Lamar Middle School and then when on to pilot a makerspace at Ryan High School. She shares all about her experiences, projects her students are making and has gathered substantial resource lists as well. Her blog is seriously awesome. (Of course, I’m biased because we wrote a book together)
- Check out her post on how libraries & makerspaces aren’t mutually exclusive and her elementary makerspace resources page.
Laura Fleming’s blog about her library and makerspace at New Milford High School. One of the pioneers of the school library makerspace movement, Laura has shared many amazing resources (and she has an awesome book too!)
Andy Plemmons’ blog; in addition to being an all-around awesome librarian, Andy does an amazing job of bringing making into Barrow Elemenntary School. He collaborates with the University of Georgia and often brings the makerspace into his curriculum collaborations with teachers. He’s also amazing at fundraising and creating big, school-wide projects.
Krissy runs an amazing makerspace called the Launch Pad at her elementary school, and she is an fantastic advocate for creativity. She also creates gorgeous posters (many with maker themes) that she makes freely available on her site and she founded the #elemaker hashtag. Did I mention that her job title is Innovation Coordinator?
Gwyneth Jones is an all around awesome librarian who shares resources relentlessly on her blog. She started a makerspace in her library recently and has taken a balanced approach, starting with a few affordable centers. She also makes amazing posters and graphics and offers them for FREE on her blog.
Robert Pronovost’s blog about Ravenswood Elementary Makerspace. He’s documented his space since he created it and offers some great advice on procedures. Definitely an excellent example of a successful elementary space.
Blog run by public librarians who work with young adults. The write about all things YA and have quite a few posts on makerspaces and maker programs.
- Check out their Teen Program in a Box page for great inspiration. Also, check out their post on how to evaluate makerspaces in public libraries
Blog that focuses on libraries and artists working together. More of a public library and museum focus.
- Check out their posts: Why aren’t adults allowed to be creative? and Partnering for an After-school Maker Club
The people who started it all – there’s amazing project inspiration and ideas on here, as well as lots of free resources.
- The posts on here run the gamut of the Maker Movement, so check out their posts tagged “education” to get stuff more specific to school.
Project ideas & other resources:
- The Maker Education Initiative’s Resource Page: From the people who started it all, this page is an amazing resource for anyone interesting in making in education. From getting started, to tools, to project ideas, this is a great site for Makers.
- Instructables : If you want to learn how to do pretty much anything, whether it’s bake a cake or build a roller coaster out of K’nex, you can find it on this website. A great project for students who be to have them document their work and create Instructables on their own projects.
- Invent to Learn : Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez’s website is an amazing resource. Make sure to check out their Constructing Modern Knowledge professional development program.
- Make it @ Your library: Project database for making in libraries. Easily sortable by age range, cost, size of groups, etc.
- Library Makers: Another great library blog with tons of awesome project ideas, especially for the little ones.
- Super Sylvia’s Awesome Maker Show: Sylvia is an amazing inspiration for all Maker kids. She filming her Maker projects around 11, and has all sorts of fabulous videos to inspire young Makers.
- Cybraryman’s Makerspace Resources page: Tons of Makerspace links and a list of Twitter handles to follow
There’s so many amazing MakerEd educators and companies on Twitter that I couldn’t list them all here. Click the link to go to my MakerEd Twitter List, which I update as I find more awesome people to follow.
Hashtags to follow:
Twitter Chats that are often Maker-related:
Maker Books to Read:
Co-written by me, Colleen Graves and Aaron Graves, this book is packed full of lots of practical information and real-life examples of using design challenges in makerspaces. We cover everything from building a maker culture and setting up the physical space of your makerspace to organizing global collaborations and sharing your projects through Maker Fests. We go into detail about creating design challenge prompts that can inspire your makers. The book has sections specifically focused on elementary and secondary curriculum connections and we feature interviews with a ton of amazing maker educators at all grade levels.
Available from Amazon and other book sellers now!
Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom: This is the must-read of Maker Education. This book covers everything from the history and pedagogy of making in the classroom to practical steps you can take to get started. It also has a great section on advocacy and research that is an excellent resource for grant writing. My review here.
Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators: This great book looks at how design and creativity is essential for the success of our students. Each chapter is by a different expert in a different field and features a variety of educational settings, including schools, museums and even playgrounds. My review here.
Makerspace Playbook (FREE pdf!!): From the people at Make, this is a great book to help you get started creating a Makerspace. It can be pretty broad in it’s scope, but there’s lots of great ideas on how to set up a space, keep things organized and coordinate projects.
Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School: Laura Fleming was one of the first school librarians that I knew of to start a makerspace. Her book is short and sweet and helps you to quickly grasp best practices for starting a makerspace to create a participatory culture in your school. My review here.
Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration: This book is written more as a resource for how design of physical spaces can make an environment for collaboration. It focuses more on college and office environments, but there are many applications to schools, especially when it comes to creating an environment designed for making and experimentation. My review here.
The Third Teacher : This book is focused on how the physical learning environment acts as a third teacher for students. Its focus is quite broad, but it frequently discusses the importance of having flexible spaces, giving kids hands-on learning opportunities, creating space for flow and allows students room for creativity. My review here.
The Art of Tinkering: This beautiful book ooks at over 150 different artists and makers and how they weave science and technology into their work. It’s beautifully designed and inspiring. It clearly demonstrates the important part that art, whimsy and creativity play in making. It also includes clear instructions for hands-on maker projects. My review here.
The Big Book of Makerspace Projects Trust me when I say that you need to have this book in your collection. This is like a makerspace cookbook. There’s tons of awesome projects with step-by-step directions to help your build your maker skills, and each project offers challenges to help you get even more creative. My review here.
Videos to watch:
I had been hearing all about makerspaces and how awesome they were, but it wasn’t until I saw this video featuring Laura Fleming’s makerspace that I realized that this was absolutely something I could accomplish at my school.
If you ever doubt the power of cardboard or the power of one individual to make a difference, you NEED watch this. This is the inspirational story of Caine, a LA kid who created an entire arcade from cardboard boxes, complete with tickets, prizes and funpasses. One day an independent filmmaker happened up Caine’s arcade and the rest is history. I use this video every year to introduce my students to the Cardboard Challenge.
This video is a fantastic introduction to the Maker Movement. Dale Dougherty, founder of Make Magazine, shares about how we are all makers, about how we all need to nurture our creative spirits. Check it out and be inspired.
While not directly on makerspaces, this video tells the powerful story of how many of our school structures are killing creativity, and what we can do about that. A key element of the Maker Movement is to bring creativity back into schools and this video reminds us of why this is absolutely essential.
In this TL Virtual Cafe webinar, eight school librarians (including myself) from all grade levels share about starting makerspaces in our schools. There’s a wonderful diversity of experiences and types of schools in here, making it an amazing source for inspiration.
Webinar by littleBits and Brian Pichman that offers a great introduction to starting a library makerspace and looks at how littleBits can be used to help students get creative while learning about circuits and electricity.
(Note: Page contains affiliate links. Actions taken may result in commissions for Renovated Learning. All opinions are my own.)