To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve.
Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. They are a fairly new phenomenon, but are beginning to produce projects with significant national impacts.
What do you need to know to get your Makerspace up and running?
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The Makerspace Playbook
guides those who are hoping to start a Makerspace at their school or in their community. We welcome your feedback on the kinds of things we should add to this Playbook, what you think we got right and wrong, and any changes you’d make in general.
Beginnings: what we’re doing and why; origins of the Maker movement
Places: making a space more conducive to a community that makes together
Tools & Materials: inventory, budgets, and strategies (see also High School Makerspace Tools & Materials: a companion document detailing the uses and costs of a fully stocked inventory for an in-school Makerspace.)
Safety: planning for safety, signage, and common rules
Roles: what teachers, students, shop managers, and mentors do in a Makerspace
Practices: pedagogical approaches experienced makers use to support emerging makers
A Year of Making: teacher Aaron Vanderwerff describes his experience making with students
Projects: guiding novice makers as they build their skill set; sources for projects
Startup: nuts and bolts of getting involved with the Makerspace network
Documenting: sharing projects … and the stories behind their making
Snapshots: four school-based Makerspaces in action
Resources: helpful lists, forms, and templates
Other Resources from the Maker Shed
The Makerspace Workbench
The Makerspace Workbench
creates a dynamic space for designing and building DIY electronic hardware, programming, and manufacturing projects. With this illustrated guide, you’ll learn the benefits of having a Makerspace—a shared space with a set of shared tools—that attracts fellow makers and gives you more resources to work with. You’ll find clear explanations of the tools, software, materials, and layout you need to get started—everything from basic electronics to rapid prototyping technology and inexpensive 3D printers.
A Makerspace is the perfect solution for many makers today. While you can get a lot done in a fully-decked out shop, you’ll always have trouble making space for the next great tool you need. And the one thing you really miss out on in a personal shop is the collaboration with other makers. A Makerspace provides you with the best of both worlds.
Perfect for any maker, educator, or community, this book shows you how to organize your environment to provide a safe and fun workflow, and demonstrates how you can use that space to educate others.
After-school and out-of-school programs—as well as home schooling—have been growing steadily for nearly a decade, but instructors are still searching for high-interest content that ties into science standards without the rigidity of current classroom canon. The author draws on more than 20 years of experience doing hands-on science to facilitate tinkering: learning science while fooling around with real things.
In this book, you’ll learn:
Tinkering techniques in key science areas
How to let kids learn science with hands-on tinkering
Engaging techniques for science learning at home, in school, or at a makerspace or library
Step-by-step instructions for activities that don’t end with a single project, but that provide many paths for “tinkering forward”
A Princeton PhD, was a U.S. diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Central/Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. After leaving the State Department in order to express opposition to the planned invasion of Iraq, he taught courses at Georgetown University pertaining to the tension between propaganda and public diplomacy. For many years he shared ideas on the theme "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United" with Eurasian/European delegates participating in the "Open World" program.
Brown’s articles have appeared in numerous publications. A recent piece is “Janus-Faced Public Diplomacy: Creel and Lippmann During the Great War” (published in Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future; now online).
He is the author (with S. Grant) of The Russian Empire and the USSR: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States (also online). In the past century, he served as an editor/translator of a joint U.S.-Soviet publication, The Establishment of Russian-American Relations, 1765-1815.