Creating The Conditions Of A Makerspace

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When asked what the key to a successful library makerspace is, Buncee Ambassador Laura Fleming said, “For me, it’s about proper planning and not just about purchasing materials. It’s about deciding how you can support the themes in your space; this can include purchasing, but doesn’t have to.”

Proper planning is Laura’s first step in building the conditions of an inspiring makerspace—a makerspace that engages students and makes them want to create.

“The key to a vibrant, successful and sustainable makerspace all has to do with proper planning. I swear by this cycle”

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Understand, assess, consider, develop, and order: the key elements to making your school library’s makerspace. However, these five verbs don’t only apply to the building of a makerspace. This past February, the Buncee team and Laura came to an eye-opening realization: 

The ideal environment to fuel and inspire both entrepreneurs and makerspace students includes dynamic energy, play, and trial and error.

This realization occurred when Laura Fleming’s students visited our NYC headquarters at the coworking office space AlleyNYC. We had an amazing time chatting about our experiences as an edtech startup and learning from the New Milford High School seniors. Laura recounted the field trip on her blog Worlds of Learning.

After this realization, Laura asked her Professional Learning Network (PLN) to share how they created the conditions of a thriving makerspace culture; she received a list of 30 ways! You can see the entire list in her blog.

We picked some of the ways listed that not only created the conditions of a vibrant makerspace, but also that of a successful startup. We created Buncees inspired by five for you to tweet, print, or just admire for inspiration.

Click the Buncees to get the links. Then, share these Buncees of inspiration to celebrate School Library Month, #slm16!

1. I make alongside them. Give them the freedom and voice to teach me. Innovator’s mindset is key. Mistakes are essential to learning.

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2. Open exploration is key; students create and solve their own challenges.

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3. Messiness is encouraged. Risks are encouraged.

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4. Student collaboration with other schools/makerspaces.

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5. Let students think about what they will create. Explore, take risks and create something different! It’s okay to not get it right away!

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Share these Buncee’s with your fellow educators and librarians (and entrepreneurs)! Let’s celebrate #slm16 by inspiring others to create dynamic and engaging makerspaces that strengthen student creativity.

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