New Article on MakerSpaces in Schools and Libraries

Andrew Watt, our Creative, just wrote this 4,000 word article on MakerSpaces in schools and libraries, following up on his appearance at EdCampSWCT yesterday.

It’s available here.

The big reminder is at the end:

F. Buckminster Fuller was assigned the task of writing the history of America’s technological innovation to reach the Moon. It was expected to be a celebration of American technological advances, and a series of biographies of great American inventors whose engineering accomplishments resulted in humanity’s march to the stars.  Yet in the first chapter of that book, Critical Path, Fuller admits that it was less a case of American ingenuity that sent the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon’s surface, but rather the ingenuity of humanity — ceramic parts for the Saturn 5 rocket had been made that used porcelain recipes that were six thousand years old; bronze-alloy couplings that relied on four thousand year old metallurgy helped the rocket’s various stages separate from one another when the bronze melted away under intense heat.

I invite you, readers, to think of yourselves like that — that your task as MakerSpace teachers and librarians and archivists, is to be oriented on what humanity has already done, technologically, and to help students understand the old technologies so that they can borrow from them to develop new solutions to problems.

And a Shout Out…

If you or your school would like assistance in putting these principles into action in your school, please be in touch.  I am available for consulting services; or to run workshops on sewing, bookbinding, or basic carpentry for teachers and MakerSpaces; or for ongoing coaching services for new MakerSpace atelierists.

What is a MakerSpace?

A big article on what a MakerSpace is, and how it relates to other types of work areas for artists, designers, and Makers.

So, that’s the way I see these things — MakerSpaces revel in the sheer joy of creativity; DesignSpaces build things with a purpose; ArtistSpaces explore creativity without necessarily giving it purpose; and TinkerSpaces are for sticking things together until you get ideas… but won’t necessarily help you build anything real.

Where does your space sit in the definitions?  Are you really operating a DesignStudio when you think you’re running a MakerSpace?  Is your school’s MakerSpace really a TinkerLab?

Read the full article; it’s worth it.