5 Myths About Makerspaces
There are many misconceptions about what a makerspace is and what is required to set up and run a successful space. Unfortunately many of these misconceptions create unnecessary barriers for teachers looking to set up a makerspace.
The following are 5 myths that hold teachers back from setting up a makerspace or using their makerspace to its full potential. If you are looking at getting started with makerspaces be sure to sign up for our FREE Building a Makerspace E-mail Course.
Myth #1: Makerspaces and STEM Labs are the Same
While many makerspaces have a STEM focus, makerspaces and STEM labs are not the same. The main difference is that activities in STEM labs are teacher led while the goal of a makerspace is to provide a place for student directed learning. A true makerspace provides opportunities for open-ended exploration that all students can access.
Myth #2: I Need All of the Stuff
One potential barrier to getting started with makerspaces is the belief that you need to purchase pricey kits and expensive technology. While these items can be beneficial, they are not necessities.
Makerspaces should not be about the stuff. Rather, the focus should be on designing an education experience that engages students and allows them to go deeper in their learning.
Myth #3: Makerspaces Are Only for Gifted Students
Another common misconception about makerspaces is that they are only for certain student groups such as gifted and talented. Other teachers may only use the space for specific purposes such as rewards for early finishers or after school clubs.
While these may be beneficial, the goal of the makerspace is to develop a maker mindset in students. This mindset should not just be taught to specific students or at specific times of the day. All students should have access to the makerspace and opportunities for making should be infused throughout the curriculum.
Myth #4: I Don't Have Enough Room For a Makerspace
Another potential barrier to getting a makerspace up and running is the belief that you need a lot of space. One great solution to this problem is setting up a makerspace cart. An additional benefit to the makerspace cart is that it is portable and can be shared with multiple classes. Learn more about how to set up a makerspace cart HERE.
Myth #5: My Makerspace is Complete
The process of setting up a makerspace is never finished. Just as teachers continually revise their lessons based on data and student needs, the makerspace should continually be evolving to best meet the needs of students.