Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

Part 1 – Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

img_0825From tinkering labs to fabrication studios, “Makerspaces” are popping up at schools across the country. While these spaces, often filled with tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters, are replacing tech labs at many schools, some educators question if these new classrooms are just a passing fad or if they truly represent the future of hands-on learning.

I explored this topic with the Burke’s Makery Team as part of a panel session at the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) annual conference in Denver, CO. This series of ten posts will explore key ideas that will help schools and educators design makerspaces that will not only be relevant today but will also stand the test of time.

b601e690-842b-4257-9075-39f08541961dBefore I dive into my 9 top tips for designing a future-proofed space, I’ll share a little more on my background envisioning makerspaces. I first thought about making in the classroom as a science teacher, challenged to re-think my classroom space as I introduced more and more project based learning made into my curriculum. What started with a “Maker Cart” and a some new organizational systems in my science classroom led to my work with fellow teachers to transform two existing classrooms into cutting edge maker spaces over the course of a summer without a major construction project or funding.  Now in its fourth year, “The Makery” at Burke’s is a flexible, dynamic, and ever-evolving learning space. Since the launch of The Makery, I’ve moved out of the classroom and into an administrative role at Burke’s – the Director of Curriculum and Program Innovation. In this role, I now supervise the Makery Team and have consulted with teachers and school leaders around the world to help them envision both small and large makerspaces at their schools.

Mike's tips on makerspaces were featured in Taiwan's Commonwealth Parenting Magazine

Mike’s tips on makerspaces were featured in Taiwan’s CommonWealth Parenting Magazine



This post is part of the Future-Proofed Makerspace Series. Use the links below to find other posts in this series. Links will be updated as new posts are added.

Future-Proofed Makerspace Series

Part 1 – Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro
Part 2 – Keep it nimble
Part 3 – Put it on wheels
Part 4 – Make it kid-friendly
Part 5 – Give kids ownership
Part 6 – Make materials accessible
Part 7 – Design with safety in mind
Part 8 – Plan for an evolving space
Part 9 – Build in storage
Part 10 – Cultivate a maker mindset

About The Author

Mike Matthews

Michael is a National Board Certified Science teacher. He currently serves as the Director of Curriculum and Program Innovation at an Independent School in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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09 2016

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