Makerspaces support innovation, invention, and learning through exploration, tinkering, and creating. The maker movement is booming and these creative spaces are popping up in community centers, universities, and work places.
We want children to create new things, to put new things together, to be discoverers, to not just accept what is given to them, but to verify and test those ideas and then create something better.
Whether they are called Fab Labs, Innovation Hubs, or Makerspaces, these learning environments are focused on encouraging students to understand and learn through planning, design, and fabrication.
Makerspaces bridge the fields of science, engineering, technology, art, and computer science. Students have a space to use a variety of equipment–video cameras, 3D-printers, drills, or sewing machines–as they turn their ideas into reality. Whether they are using cutting edge technology or traditional tools, these activities prompt students to ask questions and find solutions through hands-on experimentation and collaboration.
We want them, when they enter the space, to feel like they are part of the entrepreneurial business culture.
A successful makerspace is equipped with the infrastructure and technology to meet today’s needs and is designed for mobility and adaptability for the future. A hanging strut system, as used in the Possible Project’s makerspace, provides power and tools throughout the room, allowing tables to be arranged for individual projects or group collaboration.
Other key components are ample storage for supplies and work in progress, as well as displays to highlight the process and final products.
Problem-solving and collaborative endeavors flourish in the open learning environment of a makerspace. As an integrated component of a school facility and curriculum, well-designed makerspaces foster imagination and creativity and give students the confidence to try something new.