Breakout Group: Make Your Own Makerspace

Breaking Out of the Box: Students as Innovators

March 22, 2017

Breakout Group: _____MakerSpaces_______________

Mentor(s): _____(MENTOR NAMES HERE)_______________

Breakout Group Summary: A makerspace is a place where students can gather to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials. They can support individual or collaborative projects, and be curricular or extra-curricular. No two Makerspaces  are exactly alike, but they all have one thing in common: innovation. Makerspaces give students a place in which they can take risks, explore, create, and collaborate. Join us to start designing your own makerspace - explore a variety of working makerspaces and establish norms conducive to to innovation.

Resource Name


Audience/ Grade level

Description: Why/How/When to use

Getting Started

Starting a School Makerspace from Scratch

Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Great summary of steps (with links) of the Makerspace mak(er)ing process - from exploring to recruiting, to funding, to building, to using, to promoting.

Create a School Makerspace in 3 Simple Steps


Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Want to build a makerspace but lack a budget? ISTE breaks it down. It’s really quite simple: space, stuff, students.

Setting up Your Own Makerspace

Elementary Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Best practices and recommendations from a school with a well-utilized space

Considerations as you stock your MakerSpace

Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Working on a budget? Here are some considerations to help you prioritize purchases and collect materials.

Model MakerSpaces

Make it @ Your Library

Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Need inspiration? Here’s a collection of projects possible at a local MakerSpace.

See a MakerSpace in action.

Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

Website of the Lewis and Clark elementary MakerSpace, a wealth of resources for makers of all ages.

The Tinkering Studio

Teachers/ Librarians/ Administrators looking to build a Makerspace

The Tinkering Studio is an immersive, active, creative place at the Exploratorium where museum visitors can slow down, become deeply engaged in an investigation of scientific phenomena, and make something—a piece of a collaborative chain reaction—that fully represents their ideas and aesthetic.

Resources for Makers


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Free DIY step-by-step instructions for everything from chocolate chip cookies to hair scrunchies to an Arduino GPS system.

Built by Kids

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Full of activities and projects for families to do together, this site has a lot of great inspiration and step by step tutorials to help empower a new generation of DIY-ers.


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

DIY is a safe online community for kids to

discover new passions, level up their skills,

and meet fearless geeks just like them. Adds a gamification component to the Maker movement.


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students 5-12

One of the best magazines devoted to the Maker movement.


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Geared towards parents who want to set up a home environment that supports creativity through hands-on making, this site offers plenty of:

  • Child-directed projects

  • art-making prompts

  • art activities for kids

  • creative inspiration

  • science projects

  • hands-on making


PBS Design Squad

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Use Design Squad hands-on activities and videos in classrooms and afterschool programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home, to connect 10- to 13-year-olds in out-of-school programs around the world.

Creativity Labs

Teachers/ Librarians

Creativity Labs brings together educators, designers, artists, and learning theorists interested in constructionist and design-based learning. We focus on computational tools that support learning by leveraging youths’ interests in digital culture, design, and making. Portfolio links out to MacArthur funded curriculum (for purchase)


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Wonderopolis was created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in 2010, and it has become one of the most popular education sites today. Some highlights of the platform include.

Each day, they pose an intriguing question—the Wonder of the Day®—and explore it in a variety of ways.

Destination Imagination

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.

NEA STEM Resources for Educators

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

A great collection (of other collections) of resources on STEM curriculum, professional development, and communities.

Concord Consortium

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Having trouble explaining something a maker just discovered? Check out the Concord Consortium for great simulations, lesson plans, and project ideas.

But I don’t know how to code...

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Free comprehensive computer science instruction for K-12. Resources for educators, students, and parents.


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Teach coding with a video game!


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Free coding instruction from the basics, divided by age (from elementary through adult)


Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians

Resources to teach, learn and use Scratch, created by MIT

Khan Academy

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians/ Students K-12

Materials (with support) adaptable to elementary grades, but will need help with reading. Very comprehensive materials.

Community and Support

Maker Ed

Teachers/ Librarians

Maker Ed is a national non-profit organization that provides educators and institutions with the training, resources, and community of support they need to create engaging, inclusive, and motivating learning experiences through maker education. Incredible resources on popular MakerSpace materials and projects.

MakeZine Education Community

Teachers/ Librarians

Fill out the form for discounts on Maker Events and Activities, as well as lots of great free resources.

Parents/ Teachers/ Librarians is a non profit organization that: leads campaigns (like the Global Cardboard Challenge), tells inspiring stories of creative kids and communities (The Storybook project), and grows Imagination Chapters around the world in order to fuel a movement to help kids and communities foster creativity through Creative Play.

Lori Stahl-Van Brackle’s MakerSpace Blog

Makers/ Teachers/ anyone looking to get involved

Lori’s set up several Make-a-thons throughout NYC. She blogs about her process here, and is an incredible wealth of resources and ideas.

Hunter College Teacher Makeathon

Makers/ Teachers/ anyone looking to get involved in the Maker movement

Want to get your faculty interested in the Maker movement? Hold a Make-a-thon  for them at PD! Check out this one at Hunter College created by your NYC colleagues.

Discussion Notes:

  • Where to start

    • Generating interest

    • Choosing supplies, and STORAGE/maintenance

    • Help students design it. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” (motto)

  • How to structure

    • One toy at a time

    • Frame with a problem to be solved - something meaningful

    • Models:

      • “Open MakerSpace” can be scheduled when they are ready for it OR

      • Let Makers propose projects OR

      • Free for all (in a good way) let them play, explore, experiment (with expectations for behavior/use/etc. Clearly posted) OR

      • Independent study projects

  • Incorporating Making into the classroom

    • “I dunno, you figure it out” approach to alternative summative assessments

    • Student choice/design

    • Embed (and assess) reflection in creation process

      • Student blogs (or logs/journals if low-tech)

      • Look for metacognition (I used to think X, but then Y, so I had to Z, and now I think A)

      • Assess learning(!), but also value final product (“Look how much you learned!” Not “Look how great your outcome is!” Praise the process)