District CIO: Making makerspaces
The tools and materials in a makerspace should align with the goals for the space, staff capacity and students’ needs, says Dorothy Jones-Davis, executive director of Nation of Makers, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the makerspace movement.
“Makerspaces are not just about the tools,” says Jones-Davis. School leaders need to decide on the purpose, funding and audience for a makerspace.
Providing equitable access, for instance, would indicate a need for projects to be worked on at home or after school. Multipurpose spaces can be created by using a science classroom for an after-school robotics class or transforming an unused library corner into a 3D printing makerspace. Space availability, remodeling costs, electrical reconfigurations to support new maker equipment, storage capacity for student projects, and more need to be taken into consideration.