As soon as I found out that I was going to be solely responsible for the elementary makerspace I began to plan. Fortunately I had several months to do this. I went through the design cycle asking the question, “How can I develop the makerspace in a way that makes it more relevant to the curriculum, ensures that it is used more often by more students and faculty, and helps students to build skills throughout their time in elementary?”
I focused my reading and other professional development on making, makerspace, and design thinking. Some of the themes that began to resonate with me were scaffolding, workflow, and safety. In the four years of the existence of this space there has never been an injury that required more than a band aid, but I also know that student safety MUST be a top priority. I recently wrote about safety in my blog.
Wanting students to have a consistent workflow in the makerspace, I purchased aprons for all students and teachers, and when students are going to build, they put on an apron on their way into the room. I quickly learned that I needed several sizes of aprons (still working on that), and that many students do not know how to tie a bow. I am also spending more time than expected getting knots out of the aprons. If we are using tools other than scissors, students will also pick up a glove to protect their non-tool using hand, and safety goggles are available.
Once again I would like to thank Nadine Levone for all of her support in the makerspace. She does a lot of the sign making and organization that makes the space easily useable for students.