What are Makerspaces?

The turn of the 21st century has signaled a shift in what types of skillsets have real, applicable value in a rapidly advancing world. The question of how to renovate or repurpose classrooms to address the needs of the future is being answered through the concept of makerspaces, or workshops that offer tools and the learning experiences needed to help people carry out their ideas. The driving force behind makerspaces is rooted in the maker movement, a following comprised of artists, tech enthusiasts, engineers, builders, tinkerers, and anyone else with a passion for making things. The foundation of the maker movement was built on the success of the Maker Faire, a gathering that launched in 2006 and has since propagated itself into numerous community-driven events all over the world. Makerspaces are intended to appeal to people of all ages, and are founded on openness to experiment, iterate, and create. In this landscape, creativity, design, and engineering are making their way to the forefront of educational considerations, as tools such as 3D printers, robotics, and 3D modeling web-based applications become accessible to more people. Proponents of makerspaces for education highlight the benefit of engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Makerspaces are quickly rising as a popular trend and, fortunately, some of the most common pieces of equipment are becoming more and more affordable. I think maker spaces are a great opportunity to increase collaborations between extension educators and community leaders to develop the collaboration agreements needed, etc.- amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • I agree that Makerspaces are a become a popular trend. I see this as an important link to really encouraging youth to build STEM skills and interest.- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Makerspaces can lead to an important impact on economic development.- amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • Cost in real dollars and volunteer expertise to have a Makerspace.- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • Providing shared space and resources is an invitation for rural communities to increase innovations.- amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • Interest (youth) in sciences, technology, engineering, math and art.- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Not a specific project but of several Makerspaces in my state.- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016
  • add your response here