Maker-space Beginnings

Over the years I have run little making sessions in my school library, mostly craft activities based around a theme or event.  We’ve made lots of origami, paper and cardboard creations. These activities have always been popular and last year I also added a free choice LEGO making station. This was a great hit and the children still love to make and display their LEGO creations.

LEGO Creations on display in the library.
Image by author.

These maker-spaces have been transitory, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind for some time to make it more of a permanent space within the library.  I’d also like to add a digital component to the maker-space to provide students with access to coding and robotics so that we can really get into STEAM learning.

– Parents and secondary students helping at the maker-space during National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). Images by author.

Student digital creation made during library workshop on ‘Tayasui Sketches Schools’ for ipads. The photo was taken by the same student.
Image reproduced with permission form author.

This was really brought into focus for me with the LCN600 Connected Learning unit that I am doing as part of the Masters in Teacher-Librarianship through QUT. I decided that this would be my focus for developing a professional learning network (PLN), since I needed to learn more about maker-spaces and how to create and run them effectively in a school library.  

It was time to embark on a learning adventure.

Thanks to some great ideas and advice from other Teacher-Librarian colleagues, and Educational professionals I have put forward proposals to my Principal to establish a variety of maker-spaces within the college library.

To date I have received approval for:

A LEGO wall

Purchase of four Makey Makey’s,

Establishment of a coding club.

A craft makerspace.

To help with the funding for the larger projects like the LEGO wall and the Makey Makey’s I am going to get help from the P&F, with the remainder coming from the library budget.

But where to put the maker-space?

I am starting with the craft maker-space as this will be the easiest and quickest to set up and get going. This year I have unfortunately lost the fixed computers and as a result there is an empty bench area in the library.  It is not all bad, as I still have access to 13 ipads and the empty bench will lend itself to being turned into the craft maker-space. Here I am going to set out craft materials along side of which I will display craft books to stimulate and inspire the children to create. Watch this space and once it is up and running we will see what the students do with it.

Other workshops that I would like to run in this space are: marbled painting; felt making; and paper making.

The bank of fixed computers is now gone. Craft Maker-space moving in soon. Images by author.

Blogs that I have found particularly useful:

The Daring Librarian: Makerspace starter kit. https://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2015/06/makerspace-starter-kit.html

Tinkering child: http://tinkeringchild.com/

Renovated Learning: http://www.renovatedlearning.com/