This year for the first time ever I am 100% in charge of a makerspace. I spent a lot of time over the past eight months or so formulating my vision for the elementary makerspace and the improvements I wanted to make. I attended webinars, conference presentations, joined groups, and did a lot of reading before making any decisions. A theme that was repeated in all of my preparation was student safety.
The 21CLHK conference presentation by Cary Hart had a big impact on my planning. I adopted her safety ideas/poster for the makerspace, and it has been a huge hit with the teachers and students. First, all of the tools are visible and marked, and the students know that they are allowed to use them. Second, we (me and a wonderful instructional assistant Nadine Levone) found simple instructional videos on how to use the tools. We posted QR codes and links next to the tools. I am planning on having students create new tutorials for how to use the tools, in collaboration with the grade 5 teachers.
The power tools and other tools that are for adults only are out of sight in a cabinet.
I purchased way too many color dot stickers and quickly found out that they don’t stick well to some of the tool surfaces. As these stickers fall off I will use colored tape instead. My backup plan if this doesn’t work is to spray paint the tools with their corresponding colors.
I have invited all classes to come in for a tour and a challenge. Part of this introduction is a discussion of the expectations of the space. More on that in a future post.