Our textbook answers this question by giving a good Maker prompt. It basically says that you can create your emphasis, that there really isn’t any required Makerspace equipment, the use of cardboard is great, sometimes doing without things can be good for students and their creativity, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money. So basically, I can be creative, follow my interests, and take my Makerspace as far I I want to take it. This is good example of a constructionist assignment, which means the textbook is actually following it’s own advise.
I have to admit that as a principal I can cheat on this assignment, because I can just budget money for my Makerspace and reallocate materials from other departments to make this happen. For my Makerspace I plan on having a computer emphasis. We will have two 3D printers, one laser engraver and lots of software.
We have started a CAD lab with about 8 computers in a small room next to our computer-controlled plasma cutter. I plan on moving another 8 computers from one of our under-used computer labs to make 16 computers in the CAD lab and purchase 30″ monitors to go with these computers.
Software for this lab will include:
- Adobe Premiere
- Adobe Photoshop
Other equipment to be included:
- 10 Audrino Kits
- 10 Makey Makey Kits
- 5 Lego Robotic Kits
- 3D printers
- 3 older laptops (to experiment on or use for other operating systems)
The school already owns the equipment such as the laptops, computers, the 3D printers, the Lego robotics kits and the laser engraver. We also own all of the software listed above, but most of it isn’t being used or utilized well.
We will budget $3000 for the initial cost of the Audrino and Makey Makey kits and other miscellaneous material and supply needs such as wood and metal for our engraver and plasma cutter and money to continually fix our 3D printers. Since we can use this Makerspace for multiple purposes, this will be much more economical to create and maintain. In the article, “Funding School Makerspaces” it suggests that you be as flexible as possible, borrowing spaces and equipment, finding grants, and getting things for free. If that is the case, then my plan for funding is right on track.
My plan for a Makerspace isn’t perfect, but we can get started as soon as the new school year gets going. I know we will have many students who will be interested in tinkering from day one. We have space for our Makerspace, basic equipment for start-up, a focus, and funding. While we will start with a technology emphasis; I do hope we can expand our Makerspace in future years.
Martinez, S. L. Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press. Kindle Edition.
Hlubinka, M. (2013). Funding School Makerspaces. Make. Retrieved on 6-20-17 at http://www.makerspacelab.com/white-lab-coats-for-kids-resources/.
Makerspace Lab: Resources. Maker Education Initiative. Retrieved on 6-20-17 at http://www.makerspacelab.com/white-lab-coats-for-kids-resources/.