beanz Magazine

Makerspace Resources

College of San Mateo Library on Flickr

Schools and public libraries are perfect places for people to have fun and learn as they make things

Students can see hands on basic physics lessons with robots, for example, while adults can learn skills for fun and to expand their work skills. Actively making things also is a great way to balance off all our time spent on passive online and digital experiences.

Where do you begin if you want to create a space for people to make things in your school or community library? There are hundreds of articles, many collections of links, and lots of books published. Understanding what maker spaces are, how they work, and how to be successful, takes a lot of effort to find and validate. It’s also true some projects don’t require full makerspaces with every technology and a good budget. Teachers (and parents) can set up projects with a minimum of tools and a bit of planning.

Here are a few resources, which lead to many more ideas and resources, vetted by experienced teachers and librarians who have created maker spaces and projects for their communities.

Colleen Graves Makerspace Resources and Programming Ideas

Colleen is a high school teacher and librarian who shares her extensive experiences making things with students on her blog, resource page, and a book published fall 2016 (The Big Book of Makerspace Projects). Her resource page includes not only the expected links to her content but also camps where you can learn hands on, books she has read and vetted, blogs and Twitter hash tags to follow, and perhaps most interesting, down at the bottom of the page, a month by month list with links to programming ideas for makerspaces.

School Library Journal Maker Resources

Their May 2015 Maker Issue included an excellent list of books about makerspaces, as well as articles about the merits of different technologies and programming options. The magazine also includes at least one article about using librarires to make crafts which require little or no technology. Making things does not have to involve electricity (although it can) and extending the idea of making to include crafts, fashion, and other materials also broadens the audience for making things.

Makerspace for Education

This website, created by Canadian teachers but useful for anyone, provides a thorough description of makerspaces and how they fit into educational theory, as well as hands on projects contributed by teachers and information about technologies which could be included in a makerspace. Much of the value of this site is in the links within articles, for example, links to electronic textile resources mentioned in an article about Lilypad, an electronic system you can program and sew into clothing and textiles.

Learn More

Colleen Graves Makerspace Resources and Programming Ideas

School Library Journal

Makerspace for Education

K-12 MakerEd

Eye Candy and Secret Sauce: Ten Tips for Launching a School Maker Faire

Written by a Maker Faire employee, describes some of their lessons learned.

Maker Ed

Library as Incubator

Makerspace Groups on Facebook

Also In The August 2016 Issue

Virtual and augmented reality replace or add computing to our real world experience.

What would you build if you had 10 weeks and access to Microsoft HoloLens and HTC Vive equipment and developers?

With end of year holidays fast approaching, here are 35 of the more interesting ideas for holiday STEAM gifts that introduce STEAM concepts in fun ways.

If you work in a school or community library, or an after school group, STEAM events can be a way to offer technology events for kids.

A short history of virtual and augmented reality with lots of links to learn more.

One thing programmers do all day is imagine. When someone asks them to solve a problem with code, they start thinking and dreaming.

There are several key skills that I believe you need to have if you want to be a software programmer.

What makes a programmer lousy is a good way to identify what makes a programmer great.

Virtual reality has brought to the masses an old problem with flight simulators: what happens when our brain, ears, and eyes disagree?

The dots and lines used in graph theory can solve interesting problems.

Links from the bottom of all the October 2016 articles, collected in one place for you to print, share, or bookmark.

Interesting stories about computer science, software programming, and technology for October 2016.