Making looks different at different types of makerspaces. However, schools, public libraries, and even artist collaboratives have some universal themes that tie us all together (and owning a 3D printer isn’t one of them.)
- A makerspace is a place where you make stuff, but many times making meaning is more important than the “stuff” you make. (See Jay Silver’s Maker Movement is About Making Meaning.) Anyone can follow directions and make something, but it’s the ACT of making that is important because that is where the learning happens.
- A makerspace is a community where you learn and grow together; it is also a community of like-minded people where you can share ideas and be inspired by others.
- A makerspace is a place where one can envision making just about anything (or at least a prototype of almost anything.)
- A makerspace is filled with resources that inspire- even if those resources are just cardboard and duct tape.
- A makerspace needs a facilitator because makers need someone who knows a little bit about everything in case they struggle with completing their ideas. The facilitator needs to know how the resources in the makerspace function so they can assist makers as needed. Plus, in a library/educational setting, a facilitator is needed to create programming for the makerspace.
- A makerspace is a place where people create not consume.
- A makerspace creates producers in a world of consumers. For some makers, it creates an understanding of how technology works. For others, it creates an understanding of how our world works.
Post inspired after a chat with Mike Degraff over at UTEACH Austin.