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MakerSpace? Options
Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 12:08:31 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/2/2008
Posts: 0
Location: Wisconsin
Do any of you have any experience with MakerSpaces or Maker Education?
The idea seems to be incorporating all of the design and theory and actually make something. It sounds an awful lot like what my classes are doing. My principal forwarded something to me about it in terms of getting grant money for the shop.
Any thoughts?
Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 8:38:37 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 8/21/2007
Posts: 0
Location: Galt, CA
I have been teaching wood shop for a long time. A few years ago when another teacher retired I was assigned his program called "Hands On Technology" which was a title without much curriculum but the intent was to have students use computers for activities other than learning keyboarding skills or basic word processing. I have spent a lot of time and energy developing curriculum but the title of the class was confusing to students and parents. This year the district added robotics to the mix. In order to accommodate these changes several wood shop classes were dropped, leaving me only two wood shop classes.

What I have observed is students are great at playing games with computers, phones or PSP's but their hands-on skills haven't developed. Their interest in hands on activities haven't developed yet either. So this year during a professional development day I connected with the teacher that teaches computer programming and video and we came up with the idea of creating what we call "Maker Academy". Since we are located in the San Francisco Bay Area we are near "Maker Faire" an annual event which draws in excess of a 150,000 attendees. There are also several Mini Maker Faires in the area as well. So our students are well aware of the term Maker, so using the term "Maker Academy" provides the students with a familiar term even though they may not be certain what they may be involved in.

We created the class with just a shell of a curriculum and added it to the school's course catalog to gauge student interest in enrolling in this elective. Enrollment for electives was recently completed and we had 190 students sign up for the class out of a student body of 900 students.

So now our work is cut out. Much of the content is already in place: woodworking, metal working, plastics, robotics, CAD, photography, arduino, raspberry pi, sewing, weaving, movie making, electronics, 3d printing, coding, laser cutting & engraving and CNC routing are just some of the units we will have the students exposed to. Our intent is to have the class set up in modules with the class divided in modules with no more than 6 students in each group and 10 modules going on concurrently with myself the other teacher team teaching the class in two rooms. Students will rotate through the modules every 30 days, allowing them 9 modules during the school year.

We are currently in development and right now it is just a concept until next fall, so we will see.

Stephan Willner
Posted: Monday, May 18, 2015 10:48:06 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 7/16/2011
Posts: 0
Location: Houston, TX
I built a makerspace geared towards students with special needs at my school. You can see my thought process at

It's been a great learning challenge and space. Can't say enough about working in a creative environment, both for me and the kids.
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