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Making Makerspaces Work for All Students

Edutopia – Johanna Prince and Kevin Good

“Makerspaces are exciting playground spaces in schools where educators can foster creativity, innovation, and design skills. Often these spaces are filled with high-tech gadgets for 3D printing, robotics, and circuitry experimentation.” (more)

Assessing Learning in Maker Education

Edutopia – Stephanie Chang

“On the surface, maker education looks like a lot of fun—young people tinker with materials, take things apart, make things light up, design and build things, etc. It’s messy, a little scattered.” (more)

Teachers share tips on making makerspaces accessible to all

The Hechinger Report – Sharon Lurye

“Laser cutters, robots, 3D printers: when people talk about educational makerspaces, images of expensive, high-tech gadgetry comes to mind. In Colleen Graves’ library, they make use of a much cheaper resource. “It’s trash,” she said. “But don’t call it that.” The school librarian from Leander, Texas, was speaking on a panel about how to make makerspaces affordable and accessible in low-income and rural schools. To get her kids interested in building and engineering, Graves uses lots of recycled goods or material found in nature. While she does have access to some gadgets, any invention her students make starts off with a prototype made from cardboard.” (more)

Designing a school for next-century learning

E-School News – W. Tyler Whitehead

“Sartell-St. Stephen Independent School District, located in central Minnesota, is one of many school districts across the country that recognized a need to dramatically evolve traditional classrooms to create a variety of specialized and flexible learning environments to meet the needs of next-century learners.” (more)

How to Implement Library Makerspaces in STEM Programs

Ed Tech Magazine – Steve Zurier

“What’s the best way to define a makerspace? For Laura Fleming, library media specialist at New Milford High School in New Jersey, a library makerspace is a unique learning environment that encourages tinkering, play and open-ended exploration for all. Fleming, who also runs and manages her own business, Worlds of Making, says too often schools build library makerspaces just for the top engineering students or the gifted and talented students. “When makerspaces really work, they are open to the entire student body,” she says. “It’s really a mindset and a philosophy of education.” Fleming says whether the district sets up a makerspace in an elementary school library, in a middle school classroom or in a high school cafeteria, each makerspace has a unique quality.” (more)

3 lessons on innovating in PBL

E-School News – Don Martin

“After 28 years as a classroom teacher, administrator, and superintendent in rural, southwestern Pennsylvania school districts, I left the traditional school setting and began working for Pennsylvania’s alternative education system, serving at-risk and special needs students. Many students struggle to learn and master concepts in traditional classroom settings. Without a hands-on connection, lessons can be easily lost and remain unhelpfully abstract. I firmly believe that project-based learning (PBL) is one of the best ways to solve this disconnect, so I applied to build a Fab Lab for students in Pennsylvania’s Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) region.” (more)