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Trends in STEM

Does My School Need a Makerspace?

A makerspace in the classroom provides a wealth of opportunities for students. How can you determine if a makerspace is needed at your school?

Does my school need a makerspace?

Ask yourself these questions to evaluate if a makerspace would be a valuable addition at your school:

  1. Does failure slow or stop creativity in students?
  2. Could students expand their perspectives by learning about expression and unique learning styles?
  3. Can we improve real-world applications of classroom lessons to strengthen comprehension?
  4. How would more hands-on learning benefit curiosity and innovation?
  5. Can we increase exposure to the 21st century skills needed for success?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, a makerspace can provide the opportunities you are looking for to enhance learning at your school.

How is a makerspace established?

A makerspace isn’t limited to a single definition of what it should look like or provide. At its core, a makerspace is a physical location with resources dedicated to providing opportunities for learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

A makerspace can be integrated directly into a classroom setting or it can be established in a dedicated location. Many schools are using space from libraries to create makerspace areas for students to engage in during dedicated class times or as afterschool programs. Regardless of where the space is located, the key is creating a space that provides opportunities for collaboration, learning, sharing, testing, questioning, experimenting and innovating.

The makerspace location is ready – now what?

Once you establish the setting, it’s important to help students make the most of their time spent in the makerspace. Selecting the right curriculum will enable educators to provide the best experiences for learning. The STEM Maker Lab® curriculum from the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) offers 15 hours of programming broken out into five sessions with six, 30-minute activities per session. This format allows for the curriculum to be easily run in any makerspace setting, from integrating into existing classroom curriculum to implementing as an afterschool program.

Each session follows an activity sequence that includes these education concepts:

  1. Inspiration
  2. Creation
  3. Intellectual Property
  4. Tech Tools
  5. Marketing
  6. Entrepreneurship

Want to learn more about STEM Maker Lab?

Whether you have an existing makerspace or are in the early stages of considering how this opportunity could benefit your school, NIHF is ready to help. Contact us at 888-968-4332 or [email protected] to learn more today!

Want to learn more about the benefits of makerspaces?

Download our white paper “How to Prepare the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs” for insight on how to cultivate innovative risk takers.

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