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How to Create a Makerspace in Your School Community 

You've probably heard some of the hype about the benefits of makerspaces in the educational community. If you were interested in creating one for your community but unsure where to start, use this guide to learn the basics about makerspaces. 

Understanding What a Makerspace is

First, it's important for you to understand what a makerspace is. Broadly, a makerspace is an area in the educational community that relies on the philosophy that constructionism- the application of learning principles through a hands-on learning environment, is the way to go.

According to, makerspaces can be defined as "space in a community environment—a library, community center, private organization, or campus. Expert advisors may be available some of the time, but often novices get help from other users." 

Primarily, makerspaces are designated for engineering, computer science, and graphic design and are ground zero for technological experimentation. Makerspaces, then, are great ways for schools and communities to provide students with tools to get into and flourish in STEM subjects.

Because makerspaces are meant to be creative workspaces for a variety of tasks, they need to be able to foster a wide-range of tools and activities, which also increases the need for school administrators to clearly define what to accommodate at first all the while leaving room for growth and inevitable change as students create.

Deciding Which Makerspace Activities to Select

Deciding on what makerspace activities you will allow your students to focus on and build upon is arguably the most important first step of the process because it will dictate where your space will go and what tools and equipment you will have to invest in. You can make your choice based on what your already working with, or, if you're starting with a complete clean slate, can use feedback from your school community to decide.

According to, some good ideas for a range of activities available for creative work in makerspaces are :

  • Cardboard construction
  • Prototyping
  • Woodworking
  • Electronics
  • Robotics
  • Digital fabrication
  • Building bicycles and kinetic machines
  • Textiles and sewing

These are just a few of the many activities that can be in your makerspace. By deciding on what activities you'd like to let your students have access to in the makerspace, you can then pick where the best spot is for the space and what kind of supplies you will need to make it happen.

Where to Put Your Makerspace

Where you put your makerspace depends on what activities you want to be focused on in your makerspace, but most communities have found that school libraries work the best because they typically ample room to host the new space.

You can certainly design a makerspace for your classroom, but if space is limited, you can scale the grandeur of your makerspace back a bit. Says Luz RIvas for, a makerspace "can be a small area of the classroom or even just projects that are integrated into the curriculum. Kids will learn by doing and enjoy the opportunity to share what they make with others. Who knows what career interests they might discover?"

How to Get Supplies

Since Makerspaces thrive on the involvement of the community, let the community know your group's intentions to develop a makerspace and don't be afraid to ask for help getting resources. Let the PTA, the faculty, and other community members know about your efforts and ask for any kind of contribution to the space through a concise and reasonable list of needed items.

Crowdfunding is another way to ask the much larger educational community to help out. You can always use sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe to let others know your clearly defined goals and need for contributions.

Further, recommends looking into used equipment and checking out discount offerings for expensive tools like laser cutter and 3D printers.

"Few spaces can afford to buy all the equipment they want, especially at retail price. Used equipment and tool donations can be a big help. Some equipment makers will offer discounts to educational and non-profit groups. Tool rental or leasing is also an option for larger equipment," the article said.

When All is Said and Done, Create a Blog

When your makerspace is up and running, creating a blog to detail the cool things your students have accomplished within the spaces. Doing this is a great way to document the success of it all and showcase your collective progress.

Although the makerspace movement is catching on and reports say that makerspace will soon be in 20% of classrooms, there are very few out there that are well-documented and circulated to serve as examples for other educators trying to get on board. So, by easily creating a blog, not only will you be helping your students, you'll also be helping students everywhere!


Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor