Two weeks ago, we visited a makerspace very close to school and discovered variety kinds of tools and technologies. This was my first time to visit a makerspace. Schools in China don’t have don’t have makerspace in most cases. To play in a makerspace costs money to some extent, some of families can’t afford their children to go to the makerspace to create something by their creative. Having a makerspace in schools is a necessary and helpful thing to help those children who do not have chance to access the makerspace. “The maker education approach to learning is highly individual yet lives within certain boundaries. It recognizes that no two students will learn the same concepts at the same rate. It even recognizes that some peripheral concepts may not be learned by all students. Yet students faced with a common challenge to design their own unique solutions will naturally come to some common understanding” (Kurti, Kurti, & Fleming, 2014, para 4).
The makerspace in a school could be in the library, a designated room, or part of a classroom. Setting aside a dedicated makerspace in a school, demonstrates for students that using this area for creating, making, tinkering, and exploring is a valued practice that is available for them.
Why we need a makerspace in schools? Here are some my opinions:
Makerspaces provide creative time and, well, space for people of all ages to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, bounce ideas off one another and build something together. These spaces don’t always include technology, since some prototypes and designs can be built out of anything or may include various stages of design that move from analog to digital and back again, but many do include technology.
Makerspaces can be the spot that encourages a whole new generation of creative minds to explore and solve the big problems. It gives students a chance to see what they can do when they aren’t limited by four multiple choice answers. Creativity is a valuable resource — and a makerspace is the perfect tool to enhance and harness it.