Making things, be it tangible objects or otherwise, can be a fun and rewarding way to engage with your students. Not only is it a great way to teach STEM concepts, it also provides the opportunity to learn about your students’ interests and hobbies. A makerspace is a collaborative work space, often in a school, library, or a private facility. In addition to displaying your kids’ wares, a makerspace may include a wide variety of tools such as 3D printers and legos.
The best part of a makerspace is the plethora of hands on activities that promote creativity and critical thinking. Unlike a classroom, a makerspace gives children the freedom to tinker with the things they are interested in. For example, if your child is obsessed with cars, a makerspace might be the perfect place to let their imagination run wild. Likewise, if they are into rockets, a makerspace would be a perfect place to teach the rocket science of launch and recovery.
Several books have been lauded for their laudable efforts at the helm of learning. Some of the best are in the form of educational games and activities. There are many to choose from, but one that stands out is the Make-a-Thon, which aims to empower children to design and make their own inventions. At the Make-a-Thon, children can create their own robots, games, and other projects. They can learn about programming, coding, and engineering through these educational challenges. By doing so, they will also learn how to apply these skills to real-life situations. This is a particularly important concept for future engineers and designers, as this type of problem-solving training is essential in a world of rapidly evolving technology.
Using the Internet for the purposes of making things has gotten easier over the last few years, thanks in large part to the rise of desktop PCs. Moreover, computer programs have become more powerful and affordable, enabling people to tinker with designs and prototypes. As a result, more and more families are getting into the makerspace scene.
Of course, a makerspace won’t be right for everyone. It might be too much of a hassle to find one in your area. However, a well-chosen makerspace will provide kids with a sense of ownership and purpose, and encourage a spirit of collaboration. In fact, it has been shown that makers are better learners, despite the fact that they have less time to do so. Additionally, maker spaces are a good fit for any school, as they allow teachers and students to interact.
The biggest challenge to makers is figuring out what makes the most sense, especially when it comes to using computers. Computers can be a hindrance, but they can be a powerful enabler. From a maker’s point of view, a makerspace is like a laboratory where students and parents alike can try their hand at tinkering with their inventions. Despite the challenges, however, it’s no doubt that the maker space will eventually be a permanent fixture in schools.