Description and Purpose:
Makerspaces comprise a community of collaborative creative spaces equipped with resources, ideas, and physical tools for building and making. Often associated with engineering, technology, computer science, or design, Makerspaces promote DIY culture, artistic exploration, entrepreneurship, and hands-on experiential learning.
There is no set formula or equipment list for creating a Makerspace for your community, but there are several critical features. First, it requires flexible space to function as laboratory, woodshop, workbench, and gathering place. Second, a collection of tools and resources is necessary to support the range of activities envisioned by your community.
Function: Makerspaces are great for self-directed learning, but can also be an integral part of more formal learning. What community and function will the Makerspace serve?
Funding: Equipment and tools can be expensive, and your campus or community may already own a lot of the tools you wish to add to a Makerspace. With sufficient community buy-in, individually distributed or seldom-used equipment might be donated to your Makerspace.
Roles and Ownership: Establish clear ownership, roles, and responsibility for the space. Does the Makespace belong to a department, the library, or is it independent of your institution? Who is responsible for supervision, funding, and maintenance? Who holds the keys to the space and to the circular saw?
Safety and security: Equipment can be dangerous and expensive. It is important to consider how to control access as well as provide training and supervision for the Makerspace.
“What Do You Need to Know to Get Your Makerspace up and Running?” What’s a Makerspace? N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2015. <http://spaces.makerspace.com/>.
“7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces.” EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, 9 Apr. 2013. Web. <http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/7-things-you-should-know-about-makerspaces>.
“Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, and Crafts for Makers.” Make DIY Projects HowTos Electronics Crafts and Ideas for Makers. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://makezine.com/>.