This is the third post in the series about the development of our middle school makerspace in our library. Thanks @jrosenberg6432 for asking some great questions, which were used as the basis for the three posts. Check out post one to see where we started and post two to see what we do!
“What things do kids take away?”
First, there’s the question of literal takeaways. What do students physically carry out of the space and keep? Currently, students can keep some of the items that they create, but not everything. Because we are 1:1, a lot of artifacts that they create are either digital and housed on their individual devices (movies, etc.) or we turn them into digital artifacts by blogging to document their learning/experiences with images, videos, and text. Due to cost, students can’t keep the kits and more expensive items, so that’s one of the reasons why we blog. They always have at least a picture or a video to take away! We do allow them take home/keep the consumable items like conductive thread, coin cell batteries, conductive tape, LEDs, and crafting materials (paper, cardboard, felt, etc.) because they have a lower price point. I’ve even had a few students borrow goggles to work on reverse engineering at home. Now that our Makerbot and Cricut are all set up, they will begin to take home those artifacts and the prototypes that they have designed as well.
More importantly, I think that they’re taking away some bigger things like independence, perseverance, creativity, and critical thinking. They are learning how to share their knowledge, collaborate in positive manner, and connect with others. They are learning how to appropriately make their learning public. They are learning that with a little effort, they can do some pretty extraordinary things! Now those are some incredible takeaways…and it’s only just the start!
Getting a MAKEover: Part III…What do they take away? by Candace Marcotte is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.