As young children, we are creative and innovative without constraint. But something happens as we grow and mature that makes us lose confidence in our creativity. When we look around us, we see successful and happy adults. What makes these people happy and successful? I have absolutely no research to back this up, but in my experience many of these adults have found a niche that allows them to be creative in some manner and also have an environment that supports failures and successes in equal light. Do we nurture this same environment for our students?
Makerspace isn’t a new idea. There have been home economics, wood shop, and industrial technology courses around for decades. (Weren't these courses classified as 'Life Skills'?) But bringing making into our classrooms can still seem overwhelming. Growing a Makerspace begins first with fostering a Maker mindset, and continues with some planning and a whole lot of courage.
The following recording is of a conversation between Lynn Holverson and myself. Lynn and I taught across the hallway from one another for years. In fact, I still remember her saying to me a few years ago, “Have you been reading about this Makerspace idea?” With my response being, “Can we just throw some Legos in the hallway?” But Lynn’s vision for a Makerspace was something more. This year we decided to sit down and finally hash it out. We hope that this conversation will help you get the conversation started too.
The Planning Worksheet we used was shared by Chelsea Sims at DLGWAEA's Week of Making Conference this past summer and was the one that Lynn preferred for planning. Prior to our meeting, I also shared the article, “6 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Makerspace.” I became very inspired by Krissy Venosdale this summer and mentioned her. (Follow her on Instagram!) Finally, after our conversation around the vision of the Makerspace, we set small goals with short deadlines to get us off to a quick start.
We look forward to sharing this journey with you throughout the school year!
Mindy Cairney and Lynn Holverson